Pharmacy automation entails the mechanization of various processes in pharmacies or in other healthcare settings. Processes such as distribution and dispensing of medications are time-consuming and tedious, which gives rise to the scope for errors. Automating such processes can not only reduce errors but increase patient safety, staff productivity, and lower cost. Additionally, automation helps to provide a competitive advantage over others, reduces operating expenses and helps free up staffs for other core business activities. Pharmacy automation is not a new development, but the trend is consolidating gradually. The global pharmacy automation market is poised to achieve substantial growth in the coming years.
The intensifying need to minimize medication errors is a key factor boosting the growth of the pharmacy automation market. Medication errors arising out of poor communication channels, confusing labels, and improper storage practices can result in dangerous outcomes. Medication errors are identified among the most common cause of readmissions. Automated medication dispensing systems can reduce such errors and are being increasingly adopted across the globe. The governments in multiple countries are encouraging the use of automated systems in pharmacies and hospitals, which too is likely to stimulate the growth of the market in the coming years.
Not only dispensing but other processes such as storage, packaging, labeling, pickup, and distribution can be automated. The rising cost of labor, especially in the developed countries has prompted companies to adopt automated systems to reduce human intervention and keep their profit margins intact. Constantly changing pharmaceutical regulations are also prompting the use of automation as they help to remain compliant with regulations. Technological advancements in software such as handwriting recognition are also fueling the growth of the pharmacy automation market.
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The pharmacy automation market has been segmented based on type and application. By type, the market has been segmented into automated medication dispensing, automated storage and retrieval, automated packaging and labeling, automated medication compounding, and table top tablet counters. By application, the pharmacy automation market has been segmented into inpatient pharmacy, outpatient pharmacy, retail pharmacy, and others.
Region-wise, the pharmacy automation market has been segmented into North America, South America, Middle East & Africa, Europe, and Asia Pacific.
North America is a significant market for pharmacy automation. The region is progressively adopting automation across various industries, and the pharmaceutical industry is not lagging behind. Governments in the region are focusing on the improvement of efficiency and management across industries and are encouraging automation. The North American region is concentrated with a number of key players, which further provides leverage for the market growth. The high cost of labor is a key factor which has prompted automation in the region.
The Europe pharmacy automation market is driven by a rise in number of government initiatives towards pharmacy automation. On the other hand, Asia Pacific is slated to demonstrate remarkable growth in the coming years. The prolific growth of the pharmaceutical industry in the region, especially in China, India, and other developing countries is supporting the growth of the market. The rising cost of labor in the region is compelling pharmaceutical companies to opt for automation.
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Even traditional pharmaceutical companies who have been practicing decade old practices for long are making the switch to automation, as the benefits of automation will let them sustain in the current economy. Concurrently, the high cost of implementing pharmacy automation solutions can impede the growth of the market. Moreover, the reluctance among healthcare professionals to adopt IT-based management practices also remains a challenge for the growth of the market.
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