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Japan’s Pharmacy Automation Market By Product Type (Automated Medication Dispensing Systems, Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems, Automated Packaging and Labeling Systems, Tabletop Tablet Counters, Others); By Application (Drug Dispensing and Packaging, Drug Storage, Inventory Management); By End User (Hospital Pharmacies, Retail Pharmacies, Others); By Region – Growth, Share, Opportunities & Competitive Analysis, 2024 – 2032

Price: $1999

Published: | Report ID: 37511 | Report Format : PDF
Historical Period  2019-2022
Base Year  2023
Forecast Period  2024-2032
Japan’s Pharmacy Automation Market Size 2024  USD 260.54 Million
Japan’s Pharmacy Automation Market, CAGR  5.44%
Japan’s Pharmacy Automation Market Size 2032  USD 398.04 Million


Japan’s pharmacy automation market is experiencing steady growth, with an expected rise from USD 260.54 million in 2024 to USD 398.04 million by 2032, reflecting a CAGR of 5.44%.

Japan’s pharmacy sector faces challenges stemming from its aging population, including a shortage of qualified pharmacists. To address this labor shortage and enhance operational efficiency, automation has emerged as a viable solution. Automation not only streamlines pharmacy operations but also reduces medication dispensing errors and optimizes inventory management, contributing to cost containment in the healthcare system. Moreover, automation allows pharmacists to dedicate more time to providing personalized consultations and medication adherence support to patients, aligning with the increasing focus on patient care.

In the Japanese pharmacy automation market, major players like Omron Corporation, Panasonic Corporation, and Fujitsu Limited, alongside international companies such as McKesson Corporation and Swisslog, offer a range of solutions, including automated dispensing robots and medication packaging systems. Geographically, growth is expected across the country, with urban areas seeing a higher concentration of automation adoption due to a denser network of pharmacies. However, as awareness of the benefits of automation spreads, rural areas are likely to witness increased adoption as well. Government initiatives promoting healthcare innovation and efficiency are anticipated to further drive market growth in various regions.

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Market Drivers:

Aging Population and Rising Healthcare Needs:

Japan’s rapidly aging population is a significant driver of the pharmacy automation market. For instance, as of 2022, more than a quarter of Japanese were 65 years and older. With almost 30 percent of its population being elderly inhabitants, Japan is considered the “oldest” country in the world today. As the elderly population grows, the demand for prescription medications and efficient healthcare services rises proportionally. Pharmacy automation solutions, including automated dispensing systems and medication packaging robots, can significantly improve medication dispensing speed and accuracy, allowing pharmacists to dedicate more time to patient care and medication adherence counseling.

Labor Shortages and Workload Management:

The Japanese healthcare sector faces a growing challenge – a shortage of qualified pharmacists. For instance, in 2020, approximately 302.5 thousand pharmacists were actively employed in Japan. Pharmacy automation helps alleviate this pressure by automating repetitive tasks like medication counting and dispensing, freeing up pharmacists’ time for more complex tasks and patient interactions. This not only improves overall pharmacy workflow but also helps prevent medication errors associated with manual dispensing.

Government Initiatives and Reimbursement Policies:

The Japanese government is actively promoting the adoption of pharmacy automation technologies to enhance efficiency and quality within the healthcare system. For instance, this includes financial incentives and supportive policies that encourage pharmacies to invest in automation solutions. The government has also set targets for the adoption of pharmacy automation, aiming to have 50% of all pharmacies automated by 2025. Reimbursement policies are also being revised to account for the added value of automation in medication dispensing, further accelerating market growth.

Technological Advancements and Integration:

Continuous advancements in automation technologies are making pharmacy automation solutions more sophisticated, user-friendly, and cost-effective. These advancements include integration with electronic health records (EHR) systems, robotics with improved dexterity, and artificial intelligence (AI)-powered features for data analysis and medication management. As these technologies evolve, they offer pharmacies a wider range of solutions to optimize medication dispensing workflows and enhance patient safety.

Market Trends:

Rise of Medication Dispensing Systems and Robotics:

The landscape of medication dispensing is evolving with the rise of automated solutions such as Medication Dispensing Systems (MDS) and pharmacy robots. For instance, Omnicell, a leading provider of medication management solutions, has more than 50,000 institutional and retail pharmacies across the US and UK leveraging its robotic drug dispensing solutions. These systems utilize barcode technology and software to automate dispensing tasks, enhancing accuracy and workflow efficiency while allowing pharmacists to allocate more time to patient consultations. Pharmacy robots offer a higher level of automation by handling tasks like medication selection, packaging, and labeling. This not only minimizes dispensing errors but also enables pharmacists to focus on providing value-added services like medication adherence counseling, ultimately enhancing patient care. In fact, a study showed that after introducing a robotic dispensing system, the total incidence of prevented dispensing errors was significantly reduced from 0.204% to 0.044%, and the total incidence of unprevented dispensing errors was significantly reduced from 0.015% to 0.002%.

Integration with Telepharmacy and Digital Healthcare Platforms:

The integration of pharmacy automation with telepharmacy services and digital healthcare platforms is revolutionizing the healthcare ecosystem by fostering connectivity and efficiency. Telepharmacy enables patients to remotely consult with pharmacists, reducing wait times and enhancing access to medication advice. For instance, a survey indicated that about 77% of respondents preferred appointments via telepharmacy.By seamlessly integrating with telepharmacy platforms, pharmacy automation systems can facilitate efficient order processing and delivery, ensuring timely access to medications. Additionally, integration with digital health platforms connects patients with healthcare providers and medication information, offering a streamlined medication management experience and further improving overall healthcare outcomes.

Market Challenges Analysis:

High Initial Investment Costs and Integration Complexity:

Implementing pharmacy automation solutions involves a substantial upfront investment in hardware, software, and system integration. This can be a significant hurdle for smaller, independent pharmacies that may struggle to justify the initial costs. Additionally, integrating automation systems with existing pharmacy workflows and software can be complex and require significant customization. This complexity further increases the cost and time associated with implementation, potentially discouraging pharmacies from adopting automation.

Labor Shortages and Resistance to Change:

Japan faces a well-documented aging population and shrinking workforce. While automation could alleviate some of the workload for pharmacists, concerns exist regarding potential job displacement. This could lead to resistance from pharmacy staff who may perceive automation as a threat to their jobs. Additionally, some pharmacists may be hesitant to adopt new technologies, particularly those with complex interfaces or unfamiliar workflows. Addressing these concerns through comprehensive training programs and emphasizing how automation can augment, not replace, pharmacists’ skills will be crucial for broader adoption.

Segmentation Analysis:

By Product Type:

Automated Medication Dispensing Systems (AMDS) dominate the market, offering streamlined medication dispensing processes, reduced errors, and enhanced workflow management. These systems handle prescription management, refill handling, and presorted medication dispensing, catering to the diverse needs of pharmacies. Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (ASRS) follow closely, optimizing storage space and enhancing inventory management by automating medication storage and retrieval tasks. Additionally, Automated Packaging and Labeling Systems streamline the labeling and packaging of dispensed medications, mitigating manual errors and improving efficiency. Tabletop Tablet Counters provide a cost-effective solution for basic medication counting tasks, particularly suitable for smaller pharmacies or those with lower dispensing volumes. The “Others” category encompasses emerging technologies like robotic arms, medication adherence packaging solutions, and self-service dispensing kiosks, contributing to the evolving landscape of pharmacy automation.

By Application:

Drug Dispensing and Packaging dominate this segment, incorporating various technologies to automate medication dispensing and packaging processes, resulting in enhanced speed, accuracy, and consistency. This includes AMDS, automated packaging and labeling systems, and tabletop tablet counters, catering to different dispensing needs. Drug Storage is another significant application area, where ASRS optimize medication storage and retrieval, ensuring proper storage conditions and maximizing space utilization within pharmacies. Inventory Management solutions within pharmacy automation leverage technologies to track medication stock levels, automate reordering processes, and minimize stockouts, often integrating functionalities from AMDS and ASRS for efficient management.

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Based on Product Type:

  • Automated Medication Dispensing Systems
  • Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems
  • Automated Packaging and Labeling Systems
  • Tabletop Tablet Counters
  • Others

Based on Application:

  • Drug Dispensing and Packaging
  • Drug Storage
  • Inventory Management

Based on End User:

  • Hospital Pharmacies
  • Retail Pharmacies
  • Other

Based on Regional:

  • Kanto Region
  • Kansai/Kinki Region
  • Central/ Chubu Region
  • Kyushu-Okinawa Region
  • Tohoku Region
  • Chugoku Region
  • Hokkaido Region
  • Shikoku Region

Regional Analysis:.

Kanto region

The Kanto region, which includes the Greater Tokyo Area, captures the largest market share in Japan’s pharmacy automation market, estimated at around 45-50%. This dominant position can be attributed to the region’s high population density, the presence of numerous hospitals and pharmacies, and the concentration of major pharmaceutical companies and healthcare facilities. The Kanto region’s advanced healthcare infrastructure and the adoption of cutting-edge technologies contribute to its significant market share.

Kansai region

The Kansai region, which encompasses Osaka, Kyoto, and surrounding areas, holds a substantial market share of approximately 20-25%. This region is known for its well-developed healthcare sector, with a high concentration of hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies. The Kansai region’s focus on improving healthcare efficiency and patient safety has driven the adoption of pharmacy automation solutions, contributing to its market share.

 Key player:

  • CVS Health
  • Boots Walgreens
  • Cigna
  • Walmart
  • Kroger
  • Rite Aid Corp.
  • Lloyd Pharmacy
  • Well Pharmacy
  • Humana Pharmacy Solution
  • Matsumoto Kiyoshi

Competitive Analysis:

The Japan Pharmacy Automation market exhibits a competitive landscape with both established domestic players and foreign entrants vying for market share. Local players like Yuyama Co., Ltd. and Fukuhara Electric Co., Ltd. leverage their strong brand recognition and existing customer base within the Japanese pharmacy industry. However, international giants like Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD) bring substantial experience and advanced automation technologies to the market. The competition is likely to intensify as foreign players adapt their solutions to Japanese regulations and pharmacy workflows, potentially challenging the dominance of domestic leaders. Strategic partnerships and a focus on innovation will be crucial for success in this evolving market.

Recent Developments:

In January 2023 The completion of AmerisourceBergen Corporation’s acquisition of PharmaLex Holding GmbH was announced. AmerisourceBergen Corporation’s growth strategy is strengthened by the purchase of PharmaLex by strengthening its leadership in speciality services and worldwide platform of pharma manufacturer services capabilities.

In October 2022, Omnicell launched Specialty Pharmacy Services to help health systems establish and optimize specialty pharmacy programs. The offering aimed to improve access to specialty medications, generate financial outcomes through a value-based service model, and provide comprehensive technology and expertise for medication management.In July 2022, BD acquired MedKeeper, a provider of cloud-based pharmacy management applications. This acquisition strengthens BD’s presence in the pharmacy sector and enhances its medication management capabilities, particularly in the preparation of compounded medications.

In June 2022, Oracle Corporation completed the acquisition of Cerner Corporation, with approximately 69.2% of Cerner’s outstanding shares being tendered. The acquisition aimed to revolutionize the healthcare industry by combining clinical capabilities with enterprise platforms, analytics, and automation expertise.

In March 2022, Capsa Healthcare, US announced the expansion of its product “NexsysADC”. The new automatic dispensers are enabled to accommodate any size of control and supplies in 2 new sizes of the controlled module drivers.

In February 2022 Baxter declared that the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) program had given it permission to act as a CVE Numbering Authority.

Market Concentration & Characteristics:

In the Japanese pharmacy automation market, established global players like Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD) and Yuyama Co., Ltd. hold significant market presence, offering a range of automated pharmacy solutions. Concurrently, domestic Japanese companies are emerging, providing innovative and tailored solutions to meet local pharmacy needs, fostering competition and product development. A notable market characteristic is the focus on integration and interoperability, addressing the fragmented nature of pharmacy management systems in Japan. Despite a relatively low adoption rate compared to other developed nations, the market presents growth opportunities as pharmacies recognize the efficiency and accuracy benefits of automation. Moreover, government initiatives aimed at addressing labor shortages and medication errors through pharmacy automation may further shape the market landscape in the future.

Report Coverage:

The research report offers an in-depth analysis based on Product, Application, End User, and Regional. It details leading market players, providing an overview of their business, product offerings, investments, revenue streams, and key applications. Additionally, the report includes insights into the competitive environment, SWOT analysis, current market trends, as well as the primary drivers and constraints. Furthermore, it discusses various factors that have driven market expansion in recent years. The report also explores market dynamics, regulatory scenarios, and technological advancements that are shaping the industry. It assesses the impact of external factors and global economic changes on market growth. Lastly, it provides strategic recommendations for new entrants and established companies to navigate the complexities of the market.

Future Outlook:

  1. Advancements in AI could lead to smarter pharmacy automation systems capable of tasks like medication dispensing optimization, personalized medication adherence support, and potential drug interaction identification.
  2. Increased adoption of robots for tasks like medication sorting, packaging, and inventory management is expected to streamline pharmacy workflows and improve efficiency.
  3. Greater integration of pharmacy automation with telepharmacy services could enable remote consultations and medication dispensing, improving accessibility for patients in remote areas or with limited mobility.
  4. Pharmacy automation solutions are likely to evolve to prioritize patient convenience, potentially including features like self-service kiosks for prescription refills or medication pick-up lockers for increased flexibility.
  5. Automation systems may leverage data analytics to optimize inventory management, predict demand fluctuations, and prevent stockouts, ensuring continuous medication availability.
  6. As pharmacy automation increases, robust cybersecurity measures will be crucial to safeguard patient data and protect against potential cyberattacks.
  7. Development of eco-friendly pharmacy automation solutions that utilize recyclable materials and minimize energy consumption is a potential future trend.
  8. Standardization of automation systems and seamless interoperability with different pharmacy software platforms would enhance overall system functionality and efficiency.
  9. Potential exists for pharmacy automation systems to connect with wearable health trackers, allowing for medication reminders and personalized dosage adjustments based on real-time health data.
  10. Future automation systems might integrate with smart pill dispensers that track medication adherence and send alerts to patients and healthcare professionals, promoting medication compliance.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the current size of the Japan Pharmacy Automation market?

The Japan Pharmacy Automation market was valued at USD 260.54224 million in 2024.

What factors are driving the growth of the Japan Pharmacy Automation market?

The growth of the Japan Pharmacy Automation market is driven by factors such as the shortage of qualified pharmacists due to the aging population, rising healthcare costs, increased focus on patient care, and technological advancements in robotics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.

What are the key segments within the Japan Pharmacy Automation market?

The key segments within the Japan Pharmacy Automation market include automated medication dispensing systems, automated storage and retrieval systems, automated packaging and labeling systems, tabletop tablet counters, and others, categorized by product type. By application, the segments include drug dispensing and packaging, drug storage, and inventory management.

What are some challenges faced by the Japan Pharmacy Automation market?

Some challenges faced by the Japan Pharmacy Automation market include the initial high capital investment required for automation systems, the need for seamless integration with existing pharmacy software and hardware, and the limited adoption rate of automation technologies compared to other developed nations.

Who are the major players in the Japan Pharmacy Automation market?

Major players in the Japan Pharmacy Automation market include domestic giants like Omron Corporation, Panasonic Corporation, and Fujitsu Limited, alongside international players like McKesson Corporation and Swisslog.

Which segment is leading the market share?

The automated medication dispensing systems segment holds the largest market share in the Japan Pharmacy Automation market, driven by its ability to automate medication dispensing tasks, reduce errors, and improve workflow efficiency.

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