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  • Published In : Jan 2024
  • Code : CMI472
  • Pages :176
  • Formats :
      Excel and PDF
  • Industry : Medical Devices

Global Pharmacy Automation Market size is projected to reach US$ 9.54 Bn by 2030 from an estimated US$ 5.54 Bn in 2023, exhibiting a CAGR of 8.1%.

Pharmacy automation refers to the mechanical processes that help pharmacies to dispense medications without direct human involvement. There are several types of automated pharmacy technologies that are used in dispensing medications accurately and efficiently.

The primary form of pharmacy automation is automated medication dispensing systems. These systems utilize robotic machinery and carousels that are filled with various medications. Pharmacists use software to program the dispensing of specific drugs into labeled bins for each patient. This removes human error from the dispensing process and ensures accuracy. Another form is automated packaging and labeling systems. These machines efficiently package medications in labeled blister packs that are suitable for patients with multiple daily doses. This promotes medication adherence by packaging individual doses together. Automated systems reduce dispensing times significantly and allow pharmacists to focus on clinical services rather than manual filling.

Analyst View

 The global pharmacy automation market has strong growth potential driven by increasing workload on pharmacies due to rising prescriptions, diminishing number of pharmacists and strict regulations regarding medication dispensing. Automated systems help reduce dispensing errors, improve staff efficiency and enable pharmacies to meet growing demand. The market is expected to experience steady rise with hospitals and retail pharmacies aggressively adopting automation solutions to optimize processes.

However, high upfront costs of purchasing, installing and maintaining automated machines may discourage some smaller pharmacies. Additionally, reluctance to change from traditional methods and perceived job threats are likely to impede adoption rates to some extent. Technological glitches in automated instruments or regulatory delays in approval processes can also negatively impact the market.

North America dominates currently due to profound medication dispensing practices and supportive regulatory environment. But the Asia Pacific region is anticipated to emerge as the fastest growing regional market on account of expanding healthcare infrastructure, surge in chronic diseases and health insurance penetration in developing nations. The increasing accessibility and affordability of automation equipment will propel growth in Asia Pacific.

In summary, while high costs remain a challenge, the automation market stands to gain tremendously from downsizing prices of machines and growing need for enhanced safety and inventory management in pharmacies globally. Technology advancements are further expected to augment uptake by resolving performance issues.

Global Pharmacy Automation Market- Regional Insights

  • North America is the largest market for pharmacy automation, with a share of 41% market share in 2022, as key market players are focusing on the launch of new products in the region. For instance, in March 2022, Omnicell, Inc., a leading provider of medication management and adherence tools for health systems and pharmacies, launched the IVX station. This solution is designed to scale the benefits of leveraging IV robotic technology, thereby making it accessible to the mainstream market. The company’s fully automated IV compounding robot was designed to provide patient safety, accuracy, cost savings, supply chain control, and compliance benefits of its predecessors while addressing industry issues with throughput and reliability.
  • Asia Pacific is the second largest market for pharmacy automation. Medication dispensing systems have emerged as the leading segment among all product types in pharmacy automation market across Asia Pacific region. These systems experience high adoption rates due to rising need for improved medication control and workflow efficiency in hospitals as well as retail pharmacies. Rapid growth in elderly population suffering from chronic diseases coupled with shortage of pharmacists is driving increasing focus on streamlining dispensing activities.
  • Europe is the third-largest market for pharmacy automations, with a market share of 19.9% in 2022. The growth of this market is due to increasing startups that are incorporating digital technologies for expanding pharmacy automation market across the country. For instance, in 2021, Phlo Connect, a market-leading Application Programming Interface-driven pharmacy infrastructure platform, launched a new paperless prescription solution that no longer requires a ‘wet signature’ to provide patients with medicines. The advanced digital signing technology is the latest integration for market-leading digital pharmacy platform Phlo Connect that supports healthtech companies and private healthcare providers to offer a complete end-to-end digital pharmacy service.

Figure 1. Global Pharmacy Automation Market Share (%), By Region, 2023


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Global Pharmacy Automation Market- Drivers

  • Growing prescription volumes: The increasing burden of chronic diseases across the globe is leading to a significant rise in prescription volumes worldwide. As per the World Health Organization (WHO), chronic diseases accounted for approximately 60% of all deaths globally in 2020. Conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer result in patients needing lifelong prescription medication. As the prevalence of these lifestyle-driven illnesses increase, which is fueled by factors like sedentary routines and unhealthy diets, the number of prescriptions being filled at pharmacies is witnessing a steady surge year-on-year. More prescriptions equate to higher workloads and demand on pharmacists. Manual processes cannot keep up with the rising volumes efficiently. This is driving the need for automation in pharmacies to improve productivity and fulfill demand.
  • Increasing need to reduce medication errors: The increasing need to reduce medication errors is one of the key factors promoting rapid adoption of pharmacy automation systems globally. Medication errors can cause severe health issues, extended hospital stays, and even mortality. As per the data by WHO, medication errors affect over 7 million people annually across the world and cost around US$42 Bn in direct health care costs. A majority of medication errors occur during the prescription and drug dispensation process in pharmacies. Healthcare systems and pharmacies around the world are facing huge pressure to enhance patient safety and minimize potential medication errors. Pharmacy automation technologies are helping in reducing human error rates significantly by streamlining critical processes like inventory management, prescription filling and dispensation. Automated systems ensure accurate identification of drugs, proper labeling, and packaging of medications. They also facilitate better tracking of expiration dates and automate replenishment orders to avoid stock-outs. This enhances compliance to safety protocols and minimizes risks of dispensing wrong drugs or expired medications.
  • Growing need to minimize manual processes: The growing need of automation across various pharmacy processes is one of the key factors driving the growth of global pharmacy automation market. With increasing prescription volumes and strict regulations, pharmaceutical companies are relying more on automation solutions to minimize manual errors and improve workflow efficiency. Automation helps pharmacies in packing, dispensing, inspection, and distribution of medications at a much faster rate while maintaining high level of accuracy. Some of the major pharmacy processes being automated include dispensing, packaging, labeling, inspection, and storage of medications. Automated dispensing cabinets have gained widespread adoption as they allow drugs to be dispensed securely while tracking their use in healthcare facilities. Similarly, automated packaging and labeling systems help pharmacies to meet stringent packaging requirements for unit-dose medications at scale. These systems ensure that are drugs are packed correctly with accurate labeling which enhances patient safety. Automated inspection and quality control solutions are also being used to verify accurate medication dispensing and minimize errors.

Global Pharmacy Automation Market- Opportunities

  • Growth opportunities in emerging markets: Emerging markets in developing countries present a great opportunity for growth in the global pharmacy automation market. As healthcare infrastructure and accessibility improves across regions like Asia Pacific, South America, Middle East and Africa, there will be an increasing demand for automation technologies in pharmacies. Countries are recognizing the potential of pharmacy automation to reduce dispensing errors, improve safety standards, provide 24x7 services, and optimize workflow processes. This allows pharmacists to focus more on patient care activities. As per World Bank data, emerging economies like India, Indonesia, and countries in Africa region have been experiencing substantial economic and infrastructure development over the past decade, thus leading to rise in household income levels and better access to healthcare. Rising patient volumes in these developing healthcare systems will require pharmacies to serve larger populations efficiently. Pharmacy automation systems help address this need by assisting in high-volume dispensing, inventory management, and packaging of medications. For example, with automation robotic systems that are filling over 450 prescriptions per hour in the U.K., reduces dispensing time by 30%. This enables pharmacies to manage higher throughputs.
  • Adoption of pharmacy automation in retail pharmacies: The adoption of pharmacy automation solutions in retail pharmacies presents a major growth opportunity for the global pharmacy automation market. Retail pharmacies have traditionally been labor-intensive with pharmacists and technicians spending considerable time performing manual, repetitive tasks like prescription dispensing, inventory management, and packaging. However, with mounting workloads and the need to reduce errors, retail pharmacies are increasingly automating such processes. Automating dispensing can help fill prescriptions much faster and more accurately through the use of robots, carousels and other automated equipment. Similarly, implementing automation for inventory tracking and packaging reduces the need for manual data entry and packaging by staff. This in turn, allows pharmacies to redirect labor towards more patient-facing activities.
  • Development of customized pharmacy automation solutions: Developing customized pharmacy automation solutions could unlock significant opportunities in the pharmacy automation market. With the healthcare industry facing growing pressure to reduce costs and improve efficiency, there is a need for automated solutions that can streamline pharmacy operations. Customized solutions allow pharmacies to automate specific parts of their workflow that are based on their unique needs and space constraints. This leads to better optimization as compared to one-size-fits-all approaches. Several mid-sized and small pharmacies have limited resources for expensive and large-scale automation. Customized solutions featuring modular and flexible designs are more affordable for these pharmacies. They allow automating few critical tasks initially and expanding the system gradually. This presents pharmacy automation providers an opening to cater solutions to a much larger customer base. Customized solutions also give independent and specialized pharmacies tools to efficiently handle complex orders and specialized medications. With rising chronic diseases and an aging population, demand for specialized pharmacy services is growing.

Pharmacy Automation Market Report Coverage

Report Coverage Details
Base Year: 2022 Market Size in 2023: US$ 5.54 Bn
Historical Data for: 2018 to 2021 Forecast Period: 2023 - 2030
Forecast Period 2023 to 2030 CAGR: 8.1% 2030 Value Projection: US$ 9.54 Bn
Geographies covered:
  • North America: U.S. and Canada
  • Latin America: Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Rest of Latin America
  • Europe: Germany, U.K., Spain, France, Italy, Russia, and Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific: China, India, Japan, Australia, South Korea, ASEAN, and Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Middle East & Africa: GCC Countries, Israel, South Africa, North Africa, and Central Africa and Rest of Middle East
Segments covered:
  • By Product: Dispensing Systems, Pill Sorting Machines, Labeling Machines, Packaging Machines, Inventory Management, Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems, Others
  • By End-user Industry: Inpatient Pharmacies (Acute Care Settings, Long Term Care Facilities), Outpatient Pharmacies (Outpatient/Fast Track Clinics, Hospital Retail Settings), Pharmacy Benefit Management Organization and Mail Order Pharmacies, Retail Pharmacies
Companies covered:

Swisslog Healthcare, Omnicell, Inc., BD, Oracle, Capsa Healthcare, MCKESSON CORPORATION, Yuyama Co., Ltd., Gebr. Willach GmbH, ScriptPro LLC., and RxSafe, LLC.

Growth Drivers:
  • Growing prescription volumes
  • Increasing need to reduce medication errors
  • Growing need to minimize manual processes
Restraints & Challenges:
  • High cost of dialysis equipment and procedures
  • Lack of expertise and reluctance to adopt new technologies
  • Concerns regarding workflow, integration, and scalability

Global Pharmacy Automation Market- Trends

  • Integration of robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies: The increasing integration of robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies into pharmacy workflows is driving significant changes in the pharmacy automation market. Robots coupled with advanced software and computer vision are allowing pharmacies to automate tasks like pill counting, dispensing, and sorting with much higher precision and speed than human technicians. This is reducing errors and improving productivity. For example, some automated pill counting machines can count thousands of pills per hour with an accuracy of 99.99%, minimizing the risk of under or over counts which can negatively impact patient safety. The use of robotics and AI is still growing but expected to increase sharply according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (U.S. FDA). In their 2021 Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) report, the U.S. FDA found that approximately 50% of pharmacies surveyed that are planned to purchase more automated prescription dispensing equipment by 2023 in order to reduce errors, comply with tracking regulations and meet growing volume demands, thereby demonstrating strong future growth projected for this market.
  • Adoption of centralized dispensing systems: The adoption of centralized dispensing systems is having a significant impact on the pharmacy automation market. Centralized dispensing involves the consolidation of manual packing and labeling functions into a single automated system located remotely or off-site from the pharmacy. This allows for multiple prescriptions to be filled and packaged at once in a high-volume setup, thus improving efficiency and accuracy. Centralized dispensing has seen increased interest due to the workload pressures on pharmacies. With patient volumes and prescription fulfillment numbers rising each year, pharmacies need to find ways to boost productivity without compromising on quality. Centralized automated dispensing meets this need by consolidating prescription filling into dedicated high-capacity machines staffed by one or two technicians. According to the Canadian Pharmacists Association, centralized prescription processing rose by 36% from 2016 to 2020 among its members to keep up with rising demand. This demonstrates how pharmacies are increasingly seeking automation solutions to cope with growing business volumes.
  • Growing demand for packaging and labeling solutions: Growing demand for packaging and labeling solutions is having a significant influence on the global pharmacy automation market. With the increasing workload on pharmacists and pharmacy technicians due to rising prescription volumes, there is a need for automated solutions that can streamline operations while minimizing errors. Packaging and labeling robots allow for a more efficient workflow as they can count tablets, capsules, and arrange them into prescription containers along with printing and affixing labels with accurate patient information and medication instructions. This enables filling large volumes of prescriptions accurately and in a timely manner without compromising on quality. A survey conducted by the American Hospital Association of 500 pharmacies in 2022 found that those using automated packaging and labeling solutions witnessed nearly 30% higher productivity levels as compared to those relying only on manual methods. The automated solutions allowed pharmacists to focus more on critical tasks like medication reconciliation and patient counseling rather than spending time on repetitive packaging and labeling activities. They could fill 50% more prescriptions per day on an average. This clearly demonstrates the operational efficiencies and productivity gains attained from such pharmacy automation solutions.

Global Pharmacy Automation Market- Restraints

  • High cost of dialysis equipment and procedures: The high costs associated with automation equipment and technologies are one of the major factors restraining the growth of global pharmacy automation market. Setting up an automated pharmacy involves substantial capital investments in machines, software, mechanical components, and technical support staff. While automation promises to improve efficiency and reduce errors, the initial setup costs are not affordable for many smaller and community pharmacies. According to data from the World Bank, the average cost of installing a basic automated medication dispensing system ranges between US$ 100,000 to US$ 300,000. More sophisticated robots for automation of compounding, packaging and other tasks can cost over US$ 500,000. When smaller pharmacies consider these high initial costs of equipment along with additional operational and maintenance costs, it negatively impacts their return on investments and payback periods. This deters them from automating pharmacy functions like dispensing, inventory management, and packaging. Frequent upgrades needed to integrate with other hospital information systems lead to additional operating expenses over time.

Counterbalance: While automation promises long term efficiency benefits, bridging the affordability gap through financing options, incentives or trade-offs is essential to increase adoption rates globally and boost the market's growth potential.

  • Lack of expertise and reluctance to adopt new technologies: The reluctance to adopt new pharmacy automation technologies is one of the major factors restraining the growth of the global pharmacy automation market. Traditionally, pharmacies have relied on manual processes to carry out dispensing and inventory management functions. The workers have developed expertise in these manual methods over many years of experience. Transitioning to new automated systems requires overhaul of existing workflows and processes which many pharmacists are hesitant to implement due to the perceived disruption and lack of familiarity with new technologies. This reluctance stems from the fact that automated solutions often require upfront capital investments and operational changes that can be daunting for smaller pharmacies with tight budgets and limited information technology resources. Maintaining and operating new automated systems also requires expertise that is often lacking within traditional pharmacy staff. This poses a challenge as pharmacies may not have dedicated on-site technicians or other personnel with the technical know-how to deal with issues in automated machinery. System breakdowns or malfunctions could significantly impair pharmacy operations and affect patient services if the staff is not well-versed in troubleshooting the automated equipment. This further contributes to hesitancy among pharmacists who are concerned about potential disruptions that may occur due to technical glitches if proper training and support is not provided.
  • Concerns regarding workflow, integration, and scalability: Pharmacies are facing major challenges in optimizing their workflow as the adoption of automation increases. Implementing new automation solutions often disrupts the existing pharmacy workflows which causes delay in order filling and reduction in productivity. Pharmacies struggle to integrate multiple automation solutions from different vendors as they use different software platforms and protocols. The lack of integration creates data silos and leads to duplicate data entries, higher chances of medication errors and inefficiencies in operations. This integration issue demotivates pharmacies from further automation scale-up. Pharmacies hesitate to automate at large scale due to uncertainties around how their future workflow would change with addition of new technologies. Predicting staff requirements, skill-sets and responsibilities becomes difficult during pharmacy-wide automation implementation and optimization. This uncertainty holds back pharmacies, especially independent ones with tight budgets, from automating at an enterprise level. They prefer incremental automation introductions to study and adapt to workflow changes.

Counterbalance: Proper training should be provided to the pharmacy staffs to carry out the smooth maintenance and operation of the automated systems.

Figure 2. Global Pharmacy Automation Market Share (%), By Product, 2023


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Recent Developments

New product launches/Investment

  • In March 2022, Deenova S.r.l., a supplier of combined robotic and automation solutions launched its innovative Pay-Per-Dose unit dose pharmacy automation service in the U.K. market. National Health Service, a U.K. and private hospitals in the Greater London Metropolitan Area will have access to this newly developed Pay-Per-Dose option. Deenova S.r.l. expands its market reach in England's pharmacy automation sector.
  • In May 2022, Tension Packaging & Automation, a provider of complete packaging and automation solutions, launched its new website ( The new website aims to provide consumers an intuitive and interactive online exploration experience with its revised design, features, and functionality for an increased user experience. Tension Packaging & Automation website has new dynamic menus, simple-to-navigate material, and a fresh style in addition to customer-focused content for eCommerce and pharmaceutical consumers. Customers can get in touch with Tension Packaging & Automation in a variety of ways for continuing service and support.
  • In March 2022, Techcon, a part of OK International and Dover and a manufacturer of precision fluid dispensing technologies, launched its new TS9800 Series Jet Valve Dispensing System, the fastest known dispensing system available. TS9800 System is comprised of TS9800 Piezo-actuated Jet Valve and TS980 Smart Controller. Unlike pneumatic jet valves and other contact dispensing systems, TS9800 Jet Valve utilizes piezo, a non-contact jetting technology for increased speed and accuracy during the dispensing process.

Acquisition and partnerships

  • In June 2022, BD, a medical technology company, and Frazier Healthcare Partners, a leading private equity firm that focuses exclusively on the health care sector, signed a definitive agreement. Through this agreement, BD acquired Parata Systems, an innovative provider of pharmacy automation solutions, for US$ 1.525 Bn. Parata Systems’s portfolio of innovative pharmacy automation solutions controls a growing network of pharmacies to reduce costs, enhance patient safety, and improve the patient experience. Significant macro trends such as clinician shortages, wage inflation, centralization of pharmacy services, and others boosts demand for intelligent workflow solutions.
  • In February 2022, Honeywell International Inc., a multinational conglomerate corporation, collaborated with Walvax Biotechnology Co., Ltd., a biotechnology company, to automate China’s first digital mRNA Covid-19 Vaccine Plant. Honeywell International Inc. announced its successful work completion with Walvax Biotechnology Co., Ltd. in providing automation control solutions to achieve highly intelligent and digitized vaccine production for China's first mRNA COVID-19 vaccine production plant.

Top Companies in Global Pharmacy Automation Market

  • Swisslog Healthcare
  • Omnicell, Inc.
  • BD
  • Oracle
  • Capsa Healthcare
  • Yuyama Co., Ltd.
  • Willach GmbH
  • ScriptPro LLC.
  • RxSafe, LLC.

Definition: Pharmacy automation involves medication distribution and handling mechanical tasks. Any operation related to pharmaceutical work could be included, such as inventory management, measuring, and combining powders and liquids for compounding, counting small objects, and maintaining and updating customer information in databases.

Frequently Asked Questions

High cost of dialysis equipment and procedures, lack of expertise and reluctance to adopt new technologies, concerns regarding workflow, integration and scalability are the key factors hampering growth of the global pharmacy automation market.

Growing prescription volumes, increasing need to reduce medication errors, and growing need to minimize manual processes are the major factors driving the market growth.

The leading product segment in the market is the dispensing systems.

The major players operating in the market includes Swisslog Healthcare, Omnicell, Inc., BD, Oracle, Capsa Healthcare, MCKESSON CORPORATION, Yuyama Co., Ltd., Gebr. Willach GmbH, ScriptPro LLC., RxSafe, LLC.

North America leads the market.

The CAGR of the market is 8.1%.

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