U.S. Market for Pharmacy Distribution Automation

Published - Feb 2004| Analyst - Melissa Elder| Code - PHM036A
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Report Highlights

  • The total U.S. market for pharmacy automation was estimated to be $1.4 billion in 2003, and is expected to rise at an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 11.7% to reach nearly $2.5 billion in 2008.
  • The inpatient pharmacy automation system market was estimated at $1.1 billion in 2003. By 2008, this segment is expected to exceed $2 billion in revenues, at an AAGR of 12.4%.
  • The outpatient segment was estimated at $312.5 million in 2003. This market is expected to rise at an AAGR of 9.2% through 2008 to reach $485.3 million.
  • The leading market competitors include Pyxis Corp., McKesson Automation, ScriptPro LLC, Omnicell, Inc. and AutoMed Technologies.


Although pharmacy automation dates back to the 1970s with the introduction of pill counting machines, the pharmacy automation market is expected to make generous strides in technology and efficiency in the coming years. The continually increasing demand for accuracy, safety, industry standards and competency in the pharmacy environment by regulatory authorities, manufacturers, healthcare professionals and consumers has forced growth of this market.

New opportunities in various settings will continue to surface. These range from small, private, family-owned pharmacies to large hospital and mail-order service facilities. Many small, private pharmacies still are conducting operations through manual and semimanual methods. The opportunity to fully automate these pharmacies surfaces more often each year, and with new bar coding standards, this trend will increase at an even faster rate. Large facilities already are highly automated. However, there are advancements in technology and performance improvements every year, and these pharmacies will continue to seek out and upgrade to the most efficient system. To remain competitive in the pharmaceutical dispensing , organizations will be highly dependent on efficient automation systems. Therefore, upgrades are likely to be an ongoing process.

This BCC report provides a comprehensive analysis of the pharmacy automation market's current operations and equipment, and emerging pharmacy automation technologies. The study includes statistics on 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.


The report provides:


  • Pharmacy automation market analysis in the following areas:
        - inpatient and outpatient pharmacy automation
        - acute and long-term care and outpatient/fast-track clinical settings
        - pharmacy benefit management and other mail-order settings
        - retail pharmacy and hospital retail settings
  • Detailed information on current and emerging products, and research and development
  • Current market estimates and market forecasts through 2008, and competitive analyses.



The information for this BCC report was obtained through primary and secondary data-collection methods. Primary methods included interviews with approximately 50 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 journals.

All market data pertains the U.S. market at the manufacturers' level. Data is expressed in current U.S. dollars. The base year of the report is 2003, with historical data provided for 2001 and 2002, and forecast data provided for 2008. 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 2003 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

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