The pharmacy automation systems market in Europe is experiencing a tremendous growth spurt. Until recently, most pharmacies have been either without automation or have employed very basic automation systems. In response, the adoption rate of automation systems across Europe has been progressing from basic prescription management systems to advanced medication pick-up and drug dispensing automation systems. Likewise, although the adoption of automation systems has been most prevalent among hospital pharmacies, there is significant potential for growth in the retail pharmacy market across Europe.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, European Markets for Pharmacy Automation Systems, finds that the market earned revenues of $151.4 million in 2009 and estimates this to reach $360.2 million by 2016. This research service particularly focuses on prescription management automation systems, medication pick-up automation systems and drug dispensing automation systems.
“Pharmacy automation systems translate a product-centric pharmacy model into a patient-centric workflow model, thus improving the pharmacy environment for both the patients and the pharmacists,” says Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst S. Priyan. “More importantly, these systems reduce the waiting time for the patients, lower medication errors, prevent adverse drug events (ADE), and ease operating costs for the pharmacy, thereby enhancing patient safety, pharmacy productivity, and turnover.”
There is considerable demand and potential for automation systems among retail pharmacies. Although the annual maintenance charges of automation systems are one of the least in the healthcare IT market in Europe, the revenues of pharmacy automation systems market are expected to more than double only by 2016.
However, diverse adoption characteristics among the various pharmacy groups in Europe result in slow market growth. Furthermore, the availability of varied information systems in the market for pharmacy workflows tends to confuse the end users, resulting in reduced penetration rates.
“There are several information systems available for pharmacy deployment in Europe such as pharmacy management systems, pharmacy information systems, and electronic prescribing systems,” explains Priyan.
“These systems reduce the market potential for advanced pharmacy automation systems as the end users make do with these basic workflow automation systems to meet the automation requirements of their pharmacy.”
Standardising and consolidating delivery models for various pharmacy groups will help in increasing penetration rates. Organising workshops designed to educate end users on the systems’ capabilities, and convening meetings to understand their requirements for offering customised solutions, will promote customer satisfaction, and thereby expand the customer base.