The global pharmacy automation devices market size was valued at USD 5.67 billion in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 12.21 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 8.9% during the forecast period (2023–2031). Pharmacy automation devices help prevent product contamination and errors, reducing the risk of liabilities and increasing patient safety, increasing the efficiency and productivity of pharmacies, and stimulating market growth.
Automation devices are electronic or mechanical tools and systems that perform tasks or processes automatically, eliminating the need for direct human intervention. These devices are programmed to perform specific functions based on predefined instructions, reducing manual labor and increasing operational efficiency. They play a significant role in various industries and applications, revolutionizing tasks. One common type of automation device is robotic process automation (RPA) devices. These devices are designed to mimic human actions and automate repetitive tasks in a digital environment. By utilizing RPA devices, businesses can automate data entry, form processing, data extraction, and other mundane tasks, freeing human resources for more value-added activities.
Automation devices offer numerous advantages, including increased productivity, reduced labor costs, improved accuracy, enhanced safety, and the ability to handle repetitive or hazardous tasks. They continue to transform industries by optimizing operations, streamlining workflows, and enabling organizations to achieve higher levels of efficiency. As technology advances, automation devices are expected to play an even more significant role in various sectors, driving innovation and shaping the future of work.
|Market Size||USD 5.67 billion in 2022|
|Fastest Growing Market||Europe|
|Largest Market||North America|
|Report Coverage||Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends|
Medication errors are a common concern and cause multiple problems. They can result in serious adverse effects, such as hospitalization, disability, congenital disabilities, life-threatening situations, or death. Medication mistakes might happen at various treatment stages, including prescribing, dispensing, hospitalization, or outpatient follow-up. According to an article published by WHO in 2017, the global cost due to medication errors was around USD 42 billion. This accounts for approximately 1% of the total global healthcare expenditure.
Moreover, according to a study published by Johns Hopkins University in 2018, medication error is the third main cause of death in the United States. As per the Economic Evaluation of Health and Care Interventions, 37.5 million medication errors are caused due to the wrong dispensing of drugs in England. Among these errors, 400 thousand are severe, 12.9 million are moderately severe, and 24.5 million are minor.
The adoption of pharmacy automation devices, such as automated dispensing, packaging, and storage and retrieval systems, is rapidly increasing. Pharmacy automation has increased the efficiency and productivity of pharmacies and improved patient safety. It reduces the time required for counting, filling, packaging, and labeling patient prescriptions. According to a report published by Omnicell Inc., 75% of the pharmacist’s time is spent on non-clinical operations, such as order review, order verification, drug distribution, and administrative management. Through automation, pharmacists can spend more time on patient care.
Moreover, pharmacy automation devices help prevent product contamination and errors, reducing the risk of liabilities and increasing patient safety. These devices also reduce medication wastage, reducing costs in the long run. For instance, according to Omnicell Inc., pharmacy automation resulted in zero drug wastage and inventory visibility from 40% to 95% in a children’s hospital.
Pharmacy automation solutions are designed to reduce workload in pharmacy operations and complement human skill sets. However, the lack of medical professionals to handle such advanced systems, especially in developing economies, limits market growth. Moreover, in developing countries, with an increase in the burden of the senior population and the prevalence of chronic diseases, the number of prescriptions is growing. Thus, an adequate number of skilled professionals are required to manage medication processes. The usage of automated technology requires trained and skilled personnel. Proper operation and handling of pharmacy automation products are necessary to facilitate smooth workflow.
For instance, automated packaging and labeling solutions are designed to achieve a predetermined objective that includes reducing cycle time and costs while ensuring consistency, accuracy, and quality in labeling. This, in turn, requires skilled personnel to handle the machine efficiently. Management of software of these technologies requires the assistance of skilled personnel to facilitate hassle-free tasks. However, the absence of trained personnel is a major restraint to the growth of the pharmacy automation market.
Many pharmacy automation players witnessed a decline in revenue from the second quarter of 2020 owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. For instance, Omnicell Inc. witnessed a decline in its revenue by -0.13% in the second quarter of 2020. However, The pandemic has shown where there are holes and problems in the drugstore supply chain, making more sophisticated automation and intelligence capabilities critical to managing medications in the post-COVID world effectively.
Based on a National Community Pharmacists Association study in April 2020, around 90% of community pharmacies applied for small business federal aid under the CARES Act to assist them during this phase. The systems for managing medicines have remained largely unchanged for decades, while medications have increased in number and complexity, resulting in a potentially greater risk of error. In addition, with the traditional methods of operation within pharmacies, pharmacists have witnessed various issues, such as an increase in medication errors and increased patient waiting time due to the growing patient load.
Based on region, the global pharmacy automation devices market is bifurcated into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa.
North America is the most significant global pharmacy automation devices market shareholder and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 9.8% over the forecast period. Technological advancements in medication management in hospitals and pharmacies are expected to drive the demand for North America's pharmacy automation devices market. For instance, Duke University Hospital in the U.S. has implemented Omnicell's XT series automated dispensing system in five hospitals. These redesigned cabinets allow for increased capacity and accommodate 30% more medications in the same outline as the old design. Growing concerns over inadequate inventory management may propel the growth of high-volume dispensing cabinets in the region, leading to a high cost of holding inventory, which can ultimately burden retailers.
Additionally, the increasing incidence of medication errors threatens patient safety, which may drive the demand for the pharmacy automation devices market in the region. Handling high-volume inventory can be a tedious and complex process for a pharmacist, and medication errors may occur due to ineffective inventory management by pharmacists. As per the article published in the NCBI in November 2020, more than 7 million people in the U.S. are affected by medication errors, leading to 7,000 to 9,000 deaths annually.
Europe is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 9.1% over the forecast period. Healthcare systems in Europe are under pressure owing to various key factors, including rising costs, increasing prevalence of chronic conditions, aging populations, growing demand, and stagnating or shrinking healthcare workforces threatening its sustainability. At the same time, structural inefficiencies in the healthcare sector abound. The move to value-based healthcare will strengthen demand for better patient outcomes at a more sustainable cost. Incorporating AI into innovative medical technologies can address pressing healthcare issues.
Furthermore, with a strong and well-established pharmaceutical industry, market growth is to be boosted by an increase in the adoption of the latest technologies in the healthcare sector and an increase in chronic illnesses. Major contributors to this regional market are Germany and the U.K. The region is forecasted to rise at a lucrative rate during the anticipated period because of skilled professionals and well-established healthcare infrastructure.
In Asia-Pacific, most countries in this region are developing countries witnessing faster adoption of technologically advanced products. Increased need to reduce medication errors, advantages of the pharmacy automation systems market over manual medication dispensing, and the development of improved features drive the pharmacy automation systems market. In addition, improvements in healthcare infrastructure in emerging countries are anticipated to create new opportunities for market expansion. China is the largest industrial robots market, according to IFR.
In Latin America, improving healthcare infrastructure, increasing initiatives supporting eHealth, and advancements in pharmacy automation are some factors driving the market. The increasing need for pharmacists to curb inventory costs, reduce medication errors, and streamline pharmacy operations also drives the need for pharmacy automation solutions among the end-users. Most Latin American nations are developing witnessing technological advancements and groundbreaking research. The presence of untapped opportunities in emerging countries, such as Brazil and Mexico, is expected to propel the pharmacy automation market during the forecast period.
The Middle East and Africa region includes South Africa, which constituted a market share of 2.4% in 2020. It includes developing countries primarily working toward technological advancements and providing quality products to benefit society. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and increase in healthcare investments to cater to the region's growing needs is expected to be key driver to bridging the demand-supply gap during the forecast period. Lack of adequate regulatory controls and low technology penetration in African countries are key factors leading to the supply of counterfeit drugs in this market. The region's growing healthcare needs increase the need for better healthcare services and strict control over the sale of products and devices.
The global pharmacy automation devices market is bifurcated into whitening products, applications, composition, and distribution channels.
Based on products, the global pharmacy automation devices market is bifurcated into medication dispensing systems, packaging and labeling systems, storage and retrieval systems, automated medication compounding systems, and tabletop tablet counters.
The medication dispensing systems segment dominates the global market and is projected to exhibit a CAGR of 7.9% over the forecast period. The increasing number of deaths due to medication and dispensing errors and stringent government policies pressure healthcare institutes and pharmacists to include various medication dispensing systems for improving patient care services. In addition, benefits offered by medication dispensing systems, such as enhanced patient care, reduced drug mistakes, better inventory management, improved medication adherence for patients receiving complex therapies, improved storage capacity, minimized drug waste with true split-fills, and reduced administrative burden further driving product adoption among end users.
For instance, UniPick, offered by Swisslog Healthcare, is an automated medication dispensing system that efficiently, swiftly, and accurately handles the drug dispensing process for outpatient pharmacies. Its dispensing features help increase productivity, reduce medication errors, and provide more time for counseling patients on medication administration, boosting the general hospital's revenue.
Based on end use, the global pharmacy automation devices market is bifurcated into medication Hospitals and retail pharmacies.
The medication Hospital pharmacies segment dominates the global market and is projected to exhibit a CAGR of 9.5% over the forecast period. Pharmacy automation solutions help curtail financial losses due to improper hospital inventory management and dispensing issues. Hospitals face many challenges in inefficient use of medical resources such as space, technology, personnel, and high costs of medical treatments. Pharmacists and practitioners are busy with logistical and administrative activities, leading to underutilizing their expertise and a reduction in patient care.
Furthermore, with the usage of automated dispensing units, the efficiency of the workflow increases, and these technicians and pharmacists can dedicate more time toward counseling and direct patient care. As per the survey conducted by Pharmacy Purchasing and Products in 2019, major automation technologies used in hospital pharmacies include automated dispensing cabinets, bar-coded unit dosage packaging systems, automated drug storage and retrieval systems, automated anesthesia dispensing systems, compounding systems for sterile products and IV compounding robots.