Global Pharmacies and Drug Stores
The global drugstore market will be worth around $595 billion by 2015, according to research from Global Industry Analysts.
The retail drug industry is comprised of pharmacies or drugstores, as they are known in Northern America. With an aging global population and greater prevalence of chronic diseases, the need for safe, legal pharmaceutical drugs is constantly rising.
Pharmacies and drug stores dispense prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs directly to patients. However, their role is more than one of simple distribution as they dispense medication in specific doses, adhere to optimal conditions of storage and give valuable advice to patients. They ensure patient safety by providing drugs that have not expired or been damaged by errors in storage.
Pharmacies practice in a wide range of locations and location types such as communities, hospitals, clinics and nursing homes. Other drug retail outlets include supermarkets, and independent and online pharmacies, which offer mail-order drugs to patients, proving especially convenient for those that may be unable to leave their homes. Apart from selling drugs, miscellaneous products also account for a percentage of sales for these retail outlets, such as cosmetics and confectioneries.
The traditional mode of "manufacturer-to-wholesaler-to-drugstore" has been adapted in recent years with the Direct-to-Pharmacy model (DTP). This new supply route has proven particularly successful in the UK. DTP means increased control of supply of drugs for manufacturers and savings for pharmacies.