Big techs such as Amazon and Uber could help drive machinery surge
The use of automated machinery to fill prescriptions, and in other medication-dispensing applications has been a standard practice for years, but market intelligence company Interact Analysis’s newly launched report on pharmacy automation anticipates a period of significant growth up to 2024, and identifies certain factors that are propelling this growth.
One major boost, as Blake Griffin, senior analyst at Interact, points out, is the emergence in this space of big-tech companies such as Amazon and Uber. In the US, Amazon, with its purchase of Pillpack, and Uber, behind its partnership with NimbleRx, could potentially usher in a revolution in central-fill mail-order medicine distribution, boosting demand for automation. This could eventually catch on in other parts of the globe, Griffin notes.
The market for pharmacy automation equipment has been flourishing for quite some time, as demonstrated by the double-digit growth in the decade up to 2019, when global revenues rose to $1.7 billion. This figure is expected to increase to $2.8 billion by 2024, growing with a compound annual growth rate of 10.2%.
The contributors for this growth vary globally, but the US, where Omnicell accounts for 12.9% of the global market for pharmacy automation solutions, is the largest single country market for automated dispensing machines, Interact reports. The high cost of healthcare and the large number of private hospitals are contributing factors, with inpatient hospital pharmacies forming the largest userbase.
Demand from the chain-dominated retail userbase is also predicted to expand, with Walgreens recently making a significant investment in automation technology.