Pharmacy distribution channels have continued to consolidate around a few key players, and in particular Alliance Boots, Celesio and Phoenix which together represent 60% share of the intermediary market in Europe.
Furthermore, these three companies own or have concept affiliation partnerships with almost 10% of all pharmacies covered in the study. They own 21% of all pharmacies in wholly owned chains and have affiliations with 27% of pharmacies in virtual chains.
So says a major new 22 Country study of Europe’s consumer healthcare market ‘OTC Distribution in Europe - the 2014 edition – Meeting the New Challenges which covers 22 countries in Europe from industry expert James Dudley. The report covers: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and the United Kingdom. For Further Information go to http://www.james-
The strategic partnership of America’s largest pharmacy chain, Walgreens with Alliance Boots and McKesson’s absorption of Celesio are analysed in the Dudley report which concludes these are game changing events which shift the two largest regional players into the global arena. The effects will send a wave of restructuring through pharmacy channels of distribution across Europe as company’s compete for procurement terms and scale economies.
The report found 208,750 pharmacies in the 22 countries studied of which 77% are independent businesses. 23% pharmacies in the 22 countries in the study are independents affiliated to virtual pharmacy chains.The remainder are unaffiliated independents.16%
The Dudley study reveals the evolution of a new form of retail pharmacy brand. This is made up of a mixed portfolio of wholly owned, affiliated independents and franchised concept stores which operate under a single trade name with a common facia and store formatting tailored to individual shopping locations. In some cases a multi-channel element is added through an Internet portal and e-commerce. Celesio, for example has made great play of its development of a Europe-wide pharmacy network in recent investor presentations. Phoenix has also begun to unfold a similar strategy to develop its multi-country brand Benu which includes wholly owned pharmacies and offers different levels of affiliation to independents.
“This is an important and unfolding development in that it is about developing a brand rather than a pharmacy estate,” says James Dudley.