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Pharmacy Automation: Technologies and Global Markets

  • Published: March 2014
  • |
  • Report Code: IAS026D


The global pharmacy automation market reached nearly $3.0 billion in 2012. This market is expected to grow to nearly $3.2 billion in 2013 and $4.9 billion in 2018 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.8% over the five-year period, 2013 to 2018

This report provides:

  • An overview of the global market for pharmacy automation.
  • Analyses of global market trends, with data from 2012, estimates for 2013, and projections of compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) through 2018.
  • A market breakdown of inpatient pharmacy automation into acute-care settings and long-term care settings.
  • A market breakdown of outpatient pharmacy automation into fast-track clinical settings, hospital retail settings, pharmacy benefit management services, and retail pharmacy chains
  • Comprehensive profiles of leading companies in the industry.

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Source: BCC Research

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This BCC Research report, Pharmacy Automation: Technologies and Global Markets (IAS026D), provides a comprehensive analysis of the pharmacy automation market’s current operations and equipment, current trends and detailed patent analysis.  The study includes information regarding statistics for medication errors, costs associated with pharmacy activities, the pharmacist shortage and many other issues affecting the pharmacy automation market.  Major pharmacy automation product segments include in-depth market and competitive analyses.


Although pharmacy automation dates back to the 1970s with the introduction of pill-counting machines, the pharmacy automation market continues to advance and to deliver impressive technology and improve efficiency.  The increasing demand for accuracy, safety, industry standards and competency in the pharmacy environment by regulatory authorities, manufacturers, healthcare professionals and consumers has forced the growth of this market.

New opportunities in various settings will continue to surface—from small, private, family-owned pharmacies to large hospital and mail-order service facilities.  Many small, private pharmacies are still conducting operations through manual and semi-manual methods, particularly in regions outside of the United States.  The opportunity to fully automate these pharmacies surfaces more often each year, and with a growing compliance with bar-coding standards and new tracking capabilities with radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology, this trend will continue to increase at a rapid rate.  A large portion of inpatient facilities are already highly automated; however, there are advancements in technology and performance improvements every year, and these pharmacies will continue to seek out the most efficient system to upgrade.  In order to remain competitive in the pharmaceutical dispensing business, organizations will be highly dependent on efficient automation systems.  Therefore, upgrades are likely to be an ongoing process.


The intended audience includes all the stakeholders of the pharmacy market: drug manufacturing companies, drug vendors, independent pharmacies, hospitals, retail pharmacy chains.  This includes mostly manufacturers, retailers and super retailers, technology providers, and research and development (R&D) companies.

With its broad scope and in-depth analyses, this study will prove to be a valuable resource to anyone involved with or interested in the operations of pharmacy and more specifically automating pharmacy processes.  This study will provide information on these areas:

  • Structure and current market size of the pharmacy automation market as outlined with forecasts through 2018.
  • Impact of chronic diseases, growing and aging populations.
  • Current product suppliers and some of their technologies.
  • An in-depth market evaluation of the U.S. pharmacy automation market.
  • A look at the pharmacy service industry and its value.
  • Markets for United States; Europe; and where available Asia Pacific, Latin America and the rest of world.
  • Technology patent trends relating to automating processes in the pharmacy environment.
  • Profiles for more than 20 companies in the industry with significant contributions and market shares.

Since the study provides business and technical information of a timely nature, it will prove valuable to a variety of readers, including industry executives, managers and planners, purchases, industry analysts and investors.  The projections, forecasts and trend analyses found in this report provide readers with the necessary data and information for careful decision-making and system implementation, upgrades and new developments.


This BCC Research report is designed to be a helpful business tool that will provide a thorough evaluation of the global pharmacy automation market.  The geographical scope is global with special emphasis on the United States/Canada and developed Europe, with supplemental data covering other geographical markets and trends.  The report identifies pharmacy automation markets by inpatient and outpatient pharmacy settings, and by product type.  Within the global pharmacy automation market, there are two general pharmacy settings, each with other subsettings:

  • Inpatient pharmacy automation.
    • Acute-care settings.
    • Long-term-care settings.
  • Outpatient pharmacy automation.
    • Outpatient/fast-track clinical settings.
    • Hospital retail settings.
    • Pharmacy benefit management services and other mail-order settings.
    • Retail pharmacy chains.

Each segment is further extrapolated to provide detailed information of current and emerging products, current market estimates and market forecasts, and competitive analyses.


The information for this BCC Research report was obtained through primary and secondary data-collection methods.  Primary methods included interviews with approximately 60 key executives, product managers and clinical specialists involved in the pharmacy automation industry.  Secondary methods included published literature in the area of pharmacy technology and services, investment reports, company literature and various pharmacy-related business journals.

All market data pertains the global market at the manufacturers’ level.  Data are expressed in current U.S. dollars.  The base year of the report is 2013, with historical data provided for 2011 and 2012, and forecast data provided for 2018.  Historical base year and forecast data are provided for each market segment of the report.  Competitor market share estimates are provided for each market segment for the 2013 base year.

Although this study provides information on a variety of pharmacy automation equipment, it does not include a comprehensive list of products available.  Many companies offer products to a variety of industry types, including, but not limited to, the following industries:

  • Appliance industry.
  • Aircraft industry.
  • Automotive industry.
  • Electrical and electronics industry.
  • Communications industry.
  • Food production industry.

Some systems not covered in this study include those that are primarily used in other industry types but are, however, designed to accommodate other settings, including the medical and pharmacy industries.


Refers to a patient's ability to obtain medical care based on the availability of services, their acceptability to the patient, and the convenience of their location and hours of service.

The acknowledgement that an institution has met or exceeded standards set by an official review board. An example is the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) or the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (URAC).

Average length of stay (ALOS)
Average number of days spent in the hospital by each patient (usually excluding newborns) during a given period.

Average wholesale price (AWP)
A figure reported by commercial publishers of drug pricing data, such as First DataBank, Red Book or Blue Book, based on information obtained from manufacturers, distributors, and other suppliers.

Brand name prescription drug
A prescription drug that has been patented and is only produced by one manufacturer.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is a Federal agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The FDA is responsible for the safety, effectiveness, and truthful labeling of: (1) drugs and vaccines used in both humans and animals, (2) foods, (3) the blood supply, (4) medical devices, (5) transplanted tissues and (6) cosmetics.

Listing of prescription drugs that are recommended by an insurance company based on the scientific evaluation of their safety, effectiveness, value and impact on health outcomes.

Generic drug
A brand-name medication whose patent has expired, allowing other manufacturers to produce and sell it. The generic version is known by its chemical name while drug manufacturers assign brand names. Generic and brand-name medications have the same active ingredients, but generics can cost from 20% to 60% less and may be a different color, shape and size. The FDA requires generic medications have the same quality, strength, purity and stability as brand-name medications.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)
This federal law, enacted in 1996, is also referred to as Kassebaum-Kennedy after its chief sponsors. It addressed a number of subjects pertaining to health insurance coverage, including health care reform, medical savings accounts, COBRA revisions, and fraud and abuse. The most far reaching of the HIPAA components relate to administrative simplification and the protection of personal information.

A program that provides for the physical and emotional needs of terminally ill patients and their families. Hospice care may be delivered in the home, in the hospital or in a freestanding hospice facility.

A person who has been admitted to and requires an overnight stay at a hospital or some other facility.

Institutional care
Care provided in a hospital or some other type of healthcare facility.

Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) - The Joint Commission
A national agency sponsored by the American Medical Association, the American College of Physicians, the American College of Surgeons and the American Hospital Association, which periodically inspects hospitals and other health care institutions and provides accreditation in recognition of satisfactory performance.

Length of stay
Refers to the period of time an individual is hospitalized.

Long-term care (LTC)
Usually refers to nursing home care plans, the term can also be used to include all forms of services, both institutional and non-institutional, that are required by people with chronic health conditions.

Mail-order drugs
A program that allows individuals to buy prescription drugs for chronic conditions through the mail; larger supplies are available than are typically dispensed at a local pharmacy.

Maximum allowable cost
The fixed dollar amount that a pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) is willing to pay per unit (e.g., tablet or capsule) for a generic or multi-source medication.

Multi-source drug
A product manufactured and/or distributed by more than one pharmaceutical company/manufacturer.

Outpatient services
Services provided to an individual who has not been admitted to a hospital or other facility. These services may be provided in the outpatient department of a hospital, in a doctor's office or in some other setting.

Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM)
A company that provides comprehensive pharmacy cost containment services to at risk and/or self-insured health plans. Services include pharmacy network management, drug utilization review, outcomes and disease management, rebate contracting, and benefit design recommendations.

Single-source drug
A prescription drug that has been patented and is only produced by one manufacturer.

Skilled nursing facility (SNF)
A facility licensed under applicable laws to provide inpatient care under the supervision of a medical staff or a medical director. It must provide 24-hour-a-day nursing service supervised by registered nurses.


ADE adverse drug events/experience
ADR adverse drug reaction
CDC United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
ECDC European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control
EMEA European Medicines Agency
FDA Food and Drug Administration
GCP Good Clinical Practice
GMP good manufacturing practice(s)
HCW healthcare waste
HCWM /MWM healthcare / medical waste management
IM/im/i.m. intramuscular injection
IU International Units
IV Intravenous
NHS National Health Service, UK
PFS pre-filled syringe
R&D research and development
WHO World Health Organization


Melissa Elder is an experienced healthcare market analyst specializing in prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, medical devices and emerging healthcare technologies.  Ms. Elder has nearly 20 years of experience in the healthcare industry, specializing in market research for the past 15 years.  This experience has given her substantial insight into pharmaceutical market analysis.  Her work in the medical community, including emergency room medical training and healthcare information system coordination, has enhanced her ability to provide insight into many healthcare markets.


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The information developed in this report is intended to be as reliable as possible at the time of publication and is of a professional nature. This information does not constitute managerial, legal or accounting advice, nor should it be considered as a corporate policy guide, laboratory manual or an endorsement of any product, as much of the information is speculative in nature. BCC Research and the author assume no responsibility for any loss or damage that might result from reliance on the reported information or from its use.

[1] RegenceRX Pharmacy Benefit Management

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  Title/Chapter Name Pages Price
Pharmacy Automation: Technologies and Global Markets 236 $6650
Chapter- 1: INTRODUCTION - Complimentary 7 $0
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Chapter- 2: SUMMARY 3 $250
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Chapter- 3: INDUSTRY OVERVIEW 17 $719
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Chapter- 8: TECHNOLOGY 21 $888
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Chapter- 9: COMPANY PROFILES 18 $761
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Chapter- 10: APPENDICES 40 $1691
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  List of Tables
  List of Figures
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