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Driving and restraining factors of the pharmacy automation systems market
There has been mounting pressure on healthcare providers and pharmacists to reduce medication errors, which has been a leading cause for death across the globe. Deploying more effective technologies such as pharmacy automation systems ensures error-free dispensing of medication as well as patient safety. Medication distribution has also become more complex and difficult with rising number of patient visits – a problem pharmacy automation systems seek to resolve. Rising drug prices and reducing medical reimbursements affects pharmacy costs and the installation of these automated systems helps curb mounting costs. Moreover, pharmacy automation systems also tackle the problem of standardized packaging, labeling and compounding of drugs.
In contrast, lack of awareness regarding the benefits of automated systems in some countries and high cost of implementation are factors that curb the growth of the pharmacy automation systems market.
Pharmacy automation systems: Market segmentation
The pharmacy automation systems industry is relatively fragmented and can be segmented on the basis of technology, end users, and geography. The two chief end-users of pharmacy automation systems are hospitals and retail pharmacists. Although use of the automated systems is greater in hospital pharmacies owing to their ability to invest in expensive high-tech systems, growth in retail pharmacies and drug store chains has seen a rise in demand for pharmacy automation systems especially in emerging countries.
On the basis of technology, the pharmacy automation systems market can be segmented into automated medication dispensing, table-top tablet counters, automated compounding systems, automated packaging and labeling, and storage and retrieval systems. Accounting for 48.3% of the total market share, automated medication dispensing was the largest segment in 2011. The segment was valued at US$ 2.3 billion in 2011 and is expected to grow at a 6.7% CAGR to US$ 3.6 billion by 2018. One of the main reasons for this growth is the decentralization of pharmacies in large hospitals in order to improve patient safety and medication distribution.
On the basis of geography, the global pharmacy automation systems market can be divided into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Rest of the World.
Rising healthcare infrastructure to fuel pharmacy automation systems market in RoW region
North America dominates the global pharmacy automation systems market, accounting for over half of the worldwide industry. One of the primary reasons for this development is increasing errors in dispensing of medication prescription. Medication errors are a leading cause of death in North America, with nearly 10,000 people in Canada and 100,000 in the U.S. dying due to this. With the adoption of pharmacy automation systems, nearly 70% of these errors can be prevented, thereby fueling the growth of the pharmacy automation systems market. In addition to this, pharmacies and healthcare providers in North America have been striving to incorporate advanced and automated technology into medication dispersal, increasing the demand for pharmacy automation systems.
However, with rising healthcare infrastructure and investments by retail pharmacists and hospitals, and growing awareness of automated technologies such as the pharmacy automation systems is expected to boost the market in the Rest of the World region, making it the fastest-growing regional market during the forecast period of 2012-2018.
The global pharmacy automation systems market has numerous small and big industry players, making it a highly-competitive market. Some of the key market players include McKesson Corp, Amerisource Bergen Corp, CareFusion Corp, Swisslog Holding Ltd., Health-Robotics SRL, Kirby Lester, OmniCell Inc, and ScriptPro. CareFusion Corp leads the hospital automation segment of the overall pharmacy automation systems market, while ScriptPro is expected to dominate the retail pharmacy segment.
Based on figures provided by a market intelligence firm, the worldwide market for pharmacy automation systems was valued at US$ 4.7 billion in 2011 and is expected to be valued at US$ 7.8 billion by 2018, growing at a 7.3% CAGR.
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