Demand for pharmaceuticals will continue to increase as first world populations age, increasing demand, emerging market consumers gain wealth and Generic products become more affordable to more people. This is mainly due to healthcare reforms and the ability to manufacture, sell and distribute more efficiently. Although margins are only now starting to be reduced with the emergence of generic brands to the market, competition will remain strong amongst industry players and alternate retailers.
Sales of prescription drugs and over the counter medication as a percentage of total industry revenue have continued to increase. Pharmacies have responded to this competition from mass merchants by strengthening their core product areas and focusing on operational and trading efficiencies as well as expansion into health/beauty, food/grocery/consumer packaged goods, light electronics, seasonal products, greeting cards and in markets like the USA even basic medical services; essentially a category and services expansion to draw more customers, more often with the convenience of a single-stop shopping experience along with deep Pharmacy expertise
As industry regulations are tightened, and as global standards are being enforced, manufactures, wholesalers, and retailers are all having to invest in systems to better manage their master data to enforce traceability and data governance.