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The Digital Transformation of Pharmacy

30 March 2018

Forum Pharmacy 4.0 at first sight promises to be strictly profiled as it concerns one of the most regulated and conservative in a lot of aspects business spheres – pharmacy. At the same time it is amongst the sectors, which are in the basis of the welfare of each society. Pharmacy has not only resisted the crisis in the last few years but it also develops with upward indicators in Bulgaria and on a global scale. This is impossible without continuous innovations not only in the main for the pharmacy directions but also in the functioning of the business itself and the interactions with the other business and the users.  

According to the organizers of the forum,

The pharmaceutical industry is a driving power in the search and imposition of effective solutions and innovative approaches in the creation of economy of the health of a new type. The digital transformation, which is happening at the moment, is the change which sets up new standards in health care and enhances its efficiency. 

The Forum started with a review of the pharmaceutical market for 2017 and the outlining tendencies presented by Irena Toneva, Supplier Relationship Manager IMS Health/IQVIA.

On a global scale the pharma sector is outlined by lower margins, growth of the expenditures and pressure on the part of the payees (the health insurance institutions). Regardless of these negative factors, the global pharmaceutical market marks up growth of 6.6% thanks to the innovations, the expansion of the markets and the ageing population of the developed markets as the USA, the top 5 European states, Japan and Australia. The market here moves from the so called spеcialty therapies – innovative therapies with defined requirements for storage, distribution, specific manners of application. They are quite expensive and are in reality the generators of the growth also for the global market – in total 5 therapies generate 60% of the growth of the market: oncological, autoimmune, in diabetes, AIDS and MS. The expectations are that they namely will continue to move the market.

A positive tendency is observed on the markets which develop from now on – Africa, Latin America, a part of Asia, where products are on demand which were put on the market 10, 20 and even 30 years ago.

Growth of 10% for year 2017 or 3,372 million BGN of turnover was marked in Bulgaria. The merit on the pharmacy market of OTC (over the counter) products, – without prescription and food additives and the hospital market is the biggest.

The market for 2018 is expected to grow up in a global plan but at lower rates. Sustainable development is expected in our country because of an increased budget of the Fund, low unemployment, the presentation of innovative therapies, facilitated access. The forecasts for this year are also for resigning of some players due to pressure, according to Toneva. As a whole, however, we may hope for a two-digit growth.

The digital strategies used by the companies to enhance their competitiveness; the instruments through which they attain this; the place of the artificial intellect (AI) for improvement of the daily communication with the patients; the development of telemedicine in our country and others were amongst the focuses on the forum further to the state of the market.

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