Our Mission

To be the preferred, customer-focused, national supplier of healthcare products and business solutions improving the quality, safety and cost of patient care while maintaining the highest level of honesty and integrity.

The Wholesaler of Choice

H. D. Smith is among the largest national wholesalers, providing services and solutions for manufacturers and healthcare providers. Headquartered in Springfield, Illinois, the company has distribution facilities throughout the country, in all major markets.

Since 1954, H. D. Smith has built a reputation for excellence in healthcare distribution. Our customer-focused mission drives us to operate differently, think beyond our own company and treat our customers with the utmost respect. For these reasons, we commit to being flexible, transparent, reliable and accessible.

“H. D. Smith was founded to fill a void in healthcare distribution. As the industry evolves, we continue to deliver on our promise of unmatched service.” -Henry Dale Smith, Founder

The same culture exists today as it did in 1954 - and it’s what differentiates us from other wholesalers. We’re ever cognizant of our ability to positively impact patient care through our operational excellence, responsive service and relevant programs.

We’re committed to being the wholesaler of choice.

What We Do

  • We Distribute

    Prescription & Specialty Pharmaceuticals
    Consumer Products
    Home Healthcare Supplies
    Durable Medical Equipment
    Prescription Ware
    Seasonal Merchandise

  • We Provide

    Reliable Product Distribution
    Innovative Programs
    Exemplary Service
    Advanced Technology

  • Our Customers

    Retail Pharmacies
    Alternate Care Facilities
    Trading Partners

Through these offerings, we help our customers build sustainable businesses in today’s evolving healthcare industry. Let us help you care for your community.

National reach. Strategically positioned.

We’re strategically positioned across the country to help care for your community.

Corporate Offices
  • Headquarters
  • Corporate New York Metro
H.D. Smith Locations


From manufacturer to patient, we get the big picture.

Learn more about H. D. Smith Companies

Executive Leadership

  • Our executive leadership team directs the company’s operations, from a strategic level to the day-to-day tasks. Our leaders' vast knowledge and experience continue to position us as an industry leader.

    Learn More

Our History

Each step along the way formed a portion of the H. D. Smith story.

Our Heritage

H. D. Smith's legacy is deep-rooted in customer service and family values.

Founded on Integrity
Smith Family Background
Company Formation
Major Wins Opened Doors
Next Generation
Forming a National Presence
Building on Distribution
60 Years

Founded on Integrity 

With 60 years of rich heritage, recent growth has set the foundation for 60 more years of prosperity, where H. D. Smith is capable of touching all points in the patient care supply chain.

From retail solutions for pharmacies that need extra help with marketing to delivering innovative programs, H. D. Smith creates value for our customers, and will continue to do so.

Smith Family Background

James M. Smith, Sr., of Spartanburg, South Carolina, started his career as a pharmacist. By 1947, James transitioned his company to focus on wholesale distribution, called J M Smith Corporation, which set the stage for future generations of pharmacists.

While James was building the business, he and his wife, Ethel, raised two sons. James Jr. (Jim), born in 1926, and Henry Dale, born in 1928. Each chose to pursue a similar career as registered pharmacists and joined the family business.

The family traveled to Springfield, Illinois to visit Ethel’s family in 1951. This trip sparked a new pharmaceutical wholesale distribution company in central Illinois. Identifying the pharmaceutical wholesaler void, James immediately wanted to bring his knowledge and expertise to Springfield. His son Henry Dale participated heavily in the planning.

Unfortunately, James died of a sudden heart attack just months later, delaying the start of the new business.

Formation of H. D. Smith 

Two years after his father’s death, Henry Dale Smith, along with his wife, Betty, and young sons, Henry Dale Jr. and Rogers, moved to Springfield, Illinois in 1953 to pursue the late James Smith’s visionary dream. After settling in Springfield, Henry Dale and Betty later had two more sons, Chris and Andy. Henry Dale opened a 6,000-square-foot warehouse at 435 N. Fourth Street, with only three other associates. Starting with zero customers in 1954, Henry Dale began with no previously established buyer-seller relationships in the market.          

To determine who his customers should be, Henry Dale drew a line on a map equidistant from his warehouse to the next closest distributor. He colored in the section as his territory and set to work. Realizing his company was battling established organizations, Henry Dale created a brand built on superb customer service and thinking outside the box. Without enough delivery trucks to keep up with his thriving business, Henry Dale developed an agreement with the Illinois State Register newspaper—delivered twice a day back then. The trucks delivered the afternoon newspaper and pharmaceutical supplies to each pharmacist on the route.

Always thinking of the customer, the company went to great lengths to ensure products reached customers in time. In times of necessity, Henry Dale would put products on a Greyhound bus, and instruct the pharmacist to pick it up at the bus station a few hours later. This dedication to helping a customer in crisis set the foundation for the company to flourish.

Major Wins Opened Doors

In the 1960s, H. D. Smith was steadily growing, despite the inability to supply the largest line of products that wholesalers distributed in that time—Eli Lilly. Determined to win a contract with Lilly, Henry Dale had a vast supply of shelves constructed in 1954 and left them empty. Even when other areas of the warehouse overflowed, the Lilly shelves remained bare, but not for long.

When H. D. Smith began supplying the state of Illinois in the early ‘60s, Lilly took notice. When Lilly needed to distribute a new line of products, H. D. Smith was ready. Becoming a wholesaler with Lilly opened many doors for the central Illinois company, including the National Wholesale Druggist Association.

In 1974, Henry Dale’s eldest son, Dale Smith, joined the company in sales, covering Champaign-Urbana and the Quad cities.

As the location on N. Fourth Street had become too small to operate efficiently, a search began for a new warehouse. Finding a plot of land south of Springfield, the new facility opened in 1977 at 4650 Industrial Drive, offering 25,000 square feet of space. At the time, the warehouse served the vast majority of central Illinois.

The Next Generation Takes the Helm

In 1980, Chris Smith joined the ranks of H. D. Smith full-time as a buyer, and helped convert the company from IBM punch cards to PCs. When Henry Dale’s brother, James M. Smith Jr., passed away in 1985, Henry Dale began spending time in Spartanburg to run his brother’s company, J M Smith Corporation. This allowed Dale to step into his father’s role as president and break into the Chicago market.

At the warehouse in Springfield, night pick began in 1984, allowing deliveries to meet customer demand faster and more efficiently than before. The warehouse was expanded in 1991 to total more than 71,000 square feet, without missing a single order.

Forming a National Presence

By the mid-1990s, Dale Smith had positioned the company very well throughout the expanding central Illinois market, but knew that soon H. D. Smith would either need to allow one of the wholesale giants to buy the company, or begin buying other like companies.

In 1995, H. D. Smith acquired Texas Drug Company in Fort Worth, Texas. In 1997, H. D. Smith opened a distribution center in Wood Dale, Illinois to service Chicago and the upper Midwest. In 1998, Smith Medical Partners allowed H. D. Smith to grow in specialty distribution, and is based within the Wood Dale facility.

In 1999, H. D. Smith acquired Barnes Wholesale Drug and later relocated the distribution center to Carson, California.

In 2000, H. D. Smith acquired J.J. Balan Company in Brooklyn, New York. The distribution center relocated to a facility in Kearny, New Jersey, where it remains today.

Building on Wholesale Distribution

Seeking continual expansion in new geographic areas, in 2005, H. D. Smith opened a distribution center in Pompano Beach, Florida to service the south. In 2006, a distribution center in Stratham, New Hampshire began to serve the east coast market. H. D. Smith opened a distribution center in Louisville, Kentucky to service the southeast in 2007.

Focused on providing value to each patient, H. D. Smith had great success in helping pharmacies with prescription drugs and various other products. Through strategic acquisitions, the company continued to broaden its scope, now reaching the entire healthcare value chain for patients. Already a leader in wholesale distribution and the fourth largest in the United States, H. D. Smith acquired Valley Wholesale Drug in Stockton, California in 2012. Operationally, Valley is run as a wholly owned subsidiary, and its presence allows H. D. Smith to continue to reach independent pharmacies on the west coast.

Pausing to Celebrate 60 Years

To commemorate 60 years in business, H. D. Smith celebrated with events throughout the year.

Many of H. D. Smith’s trading partners and customers joined the Smith family at a gala for corporate associates in Springfield.

Seven H. D. Smith distribution facilities have been awarded VAWD accreditation. Learn more