The pharmacy automation market is primarily driven by the digitalization healthcare industry and rising adoption of pharmacy automation systems worldwide. Globally, there is an increase in the number of geriatrics. This is leading to a rising incidence of chronic and life-threatening diseases, along with increasing dispensation of medications. According to a study funded by UK Department of Health Policy Research Programm in 2018, has revealed an estimated 237 million medication errors occur in the NHS in England every year and avoidable adverse drug reactions (ADRs) cause hundreds of deaths. To serve the increasing demand, hospitals and pharmacies are adopting new pharmacy automation technologies, in order to reduce the operating costs, while improving patient safety.

Also Increased artificial intelligence and machine learning facilities, combined with the lower cost of automated systems, have put automation within reach for even smaller pharmacies. However, there has been slight redundancy in the adoption of automation in pharmacies in underdeveloped and developing regions which are likely to impede the market growth over the forecast period.

Key Market Trends

The Automated Medication Dispensing Systems Segment is Gaining Prominence in the Pharmacy Automation Market

  • The introduction of automated medication dispensing systems is one of the key strategies followed for improving patient safety, as these new systems are expected to reduce medication errors while enhancing medical distribution efficiency.
  • These systems keep track of narcotics and other controlled drugs, monitor drug usage patterns, and eliminate the manual end-of-shift narcotic counts, especially inpatient care units. Manual tracking is cumbersome and can cause the under- or over-stocking of the inventory. Pharmaceutical carousels increase the efficiency of a pharmacy’s inventory management system, as they maximize medication storage and improve dispensing speeds.
  • In January 2017, Omnicell launches a new generation of automated dispensing systems, the Omnicell XT cabinet series features a revolutionary design approach to maximise workflow efficiency.
  • Furthermore, increasing dispensing errors, growing number of chain pharmacies and rising adoption of AI in well developed countries projected to boost the segment growth over forecast period.

The North American Region holds the Significant Share in the Pharmacy Automation Market

North America pharmacy automation projected to have a significant share. According to a study by Johns Hopkins, in the United States, every year, more than 250,000 deaths are due to medication errors. Thus, it is considered as one of the leading causes of death in the country. Most medication errors occur during prescription and dispensation. In North America, the use of automated medication dispensing systems and cabinets is increasing, as they reduce dispensing errors while improving inventory stock management, drug traceability, and dispensing speed. ARxIUM, from the United States, provides automated solutions for dispensing, packaging, inventory management, vial filling, etc. Omnicell provides pharmacy automation (medication packing, narcotics management, and robotic pharmacy systems), automated medication dispensing, etc.

According to the 2017 American Society of Health-System Pharmacists’ national survey of pharmacy practices in hospital settings, it is estimated that 89% of the participants used automated dispensing systems, 11% used robots, and 18% used carousels. Around 34% of hospitals use machine-readable coding for verification before dispensing.

Competitive Landscape

The pharmacy automation market is moderately fragmented. Market players are focusing on continuous product development, while offering products at competitive prices, especially in developing countries. For instance, in March 2018, Centrus Health and Cerner collaborated to deliver value-based and innovative population healthcare in Kansas City.

The major players operating in the market include Arxium Inc., Capsa Healthcare, Omnicell, Inc., Parata Systems LLC and Scriptpro LLC among others

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