Increasing incidence of deaths and injuries due to medication prescription error is consistently putting pressure on healthcare providers and pharmacists to deploy more effective technologies. Also, the medication distribution system is becoming more and more complex with the rising number of patient visits along with the pressure of ensuring their safety needs. Advanced automated technologies and solutions are emerging as the most effective tools to reduce medication errors and improve patient safety. Installing automated systems also helps pharmacists and healthcare providers to lower pharmacy costs. 
Automation is available for functions such as tablet counting, compound preparation, prescription management, medication packaging, dispensing and inventory management. The full benefits of each system may be realized when several technologies are integrated together. The pharmacy automation market is expected to grow due to mounting pressure to reduce medication errors, increasing number of doses given to patients, escalating healthcare expenditure and time efficiency provided by these technologies. The demand for these technologies is also expected to increase with reducing medical reimbursement and rising drug prices which are predicted to put pressure on healthcare providers to reduce their overall pharmacy costs. Stringent government regulations regarding packaging, labeling and drug compounding are also accelerating the demand for automated packaging and labeling and compounding technologies. However, high cost of implementation is the major challenge for the growth of these technologies. Vendors will find large opportunity in this market by developing cost effective technologies for small and mid-sized hospitals and pharmacies. 
Error in medication prescription dispensing is a leading cause of death in North America after cancer, heart and strokes. About 10,000 people die per year in Canada and around 100,000 deaths and more than two million injuries are estimated in the U.S due to medication errors. Medication errors also increase the cost for healthcare providers and patients. It is found that about 70% of these medication errors are preventable and healthcare providers along with pharmacists in these regions are investing in automated technologies which enable them to reduce these errors and improve patient safety. North America is the largest regional market for pharmacy automation systems followed by Europe and is expected to maintain its position through the forecast period from 2012 to 2018. In developed markets such as Canada, the U.S and EU5 countries, there is a large potential for replacement market as healthcare providers in these countries are striving for advanced technologies to replace existing pharmacy automation. ”Rest of The World” region represents the fastest growing region in this market and the demand for these technologies is expected to increase with rising awareness and investment in healthcare infrastructure in Middle-East. 
The pharmacy automation systems industry is quite fragmented and competition varies from segment to segment. Hospitals and retail pharmacies are two major end users. CareFusion Corp currently dominates the hospital automation sector and ScriptPro is predicted to lead in the retail pharmacy sector. Some other key players in this market are AmerisourceBergen Corp, Omnicell Inc, McKesson Corp, Kirby Lester and Parata System Inc.
This report provides an in-depth analysis and market forecast for the global pharmacy automation market for the period 2012 – 2018. The report provides details of the several pharmacy automation devices currently available in the market along with the impact of these machines on modern pharmacies in terms of efficiency, reduction in error and speed. The report also highlights the unique connection of pharmacy automation devices with a number of other markets such as the E-prescription market and its role in the growth of pharmacy automation. 
The scope of the report includes competitive analysis of major market segments based on end users, technology and of different regional markets such as Europe, North America, Asia-Pacific and the rest of the world. This regional analysis concluded that most developing regions are not yet ready to accept pharmacy automation technology since affordable human skill and low currency value still provides a cheaper work force as compared to mechanization. Along with this, the cost of devices and setting them up is predicted to be another factor holding back the growth of the market. A Porter’s Five Forces analysis provides insight into industry competition and market dynamics. End-user analysis highlights in detail the opportunities for pharmacy automation in hospitals of different sizes and in retail pharmacies. It showcases the trends in hospital investment, growth of retail pharmacies and restraints of this technology in developing regions of the world. The report also highlights PESTLE factors affecting market growth. The report’s market attractiveness analysis presents a quick overview of the emerging areas which will offer sizeable opportunities to market players. 
The report also includes strategies and market entry barriers to be considered by individuals and groups who expect to venture into this arena in the coming years. Additionally, the report also includes recommendations for new entrants as well as seasoned players in the market based on current trends, and expected future market trends. To aid in tactical decision making, the report provides competitive profiling of key players, business strategies adopted by them and recent developments in the industry. This study will help suppliers, designers, manufacturers and distributors in the pharmacy automation technologies field to plan and implement their strategies in potential markets and new technologies.
1.1 Pharmacy Automation Systems: Market Segmentation 
The report segments the pharmacy automation systems market by technologies into automated medication dispensing, automated packaging and labeling, storage and retrieval systems, automated compounding systems and table-top tablet counters. According to major end users, this market is segmented into automation in hospital pharmacies and automation in retail pharmacies. The report also provides an in-depth analysis of current trends, drivers and outlook by geography in the final section.