2022, how do retail pharmacies survive?


On New Year’s Eve, the drug delivery man did not rest.At the beginning of the O2O war in 2014, the pharmaceutical industry participated in a large number of O2O services, including on-site medical care O2O, specialized medical equipment O2O, and more drug retail O2O. Now, only a few companies can be counted on one hand.Why don’t they close for Spring Festival?Because if you’re a little slow, you can’t beat retail pharmacies.Since the rise of the mobile Internet, even the vegetable sellers have felt the crisis, only the retail drugstores on this side of the scenery is unique.The annual Report on Statistics of Drug Administration (2020) shows that by the end of 2020, retail pharmacies in China exceeded 550,000.That means 100,000 new retail pharmacies have opened across the country in just three years, compared with 450,000 in 2018.Under the rapid growth, competition has become increasingly white-hot.Promotional drug delivery, online consultations, DTP conferences and health lectures are nothing new, all in the hope of keeping loyal users engaged.A number of drugstore practitioners told the COUNCIL that fierce competition in the retail market had already shifted from simply racing around the market and competing with each other on price to a stage of in-depth service and differentiated membership services.The problem, however, is that the product mix of each drugstore is very different, and the priorities for reintegrating upstream and downstream industries are also different.In 2021, pharmacy competition will enter a new stage through two major actions in the pharmaceutical retail industry: rapid integration mainly through acquisition and adjustment of “consumer-centered” business strategy.One thing’s for sure: there will be plenty of new players in the retail pharmacy industry in 2022.Drugstore business decline a boss thought of live broadcast with goods from 100 domestic top factories to select 1000 popular products, through 10,000 super online celebrities to sell the product, complete the transformation of traditional drugstores……– This is the 2020 goal set by Bai Yu, chairman of The House of Recovery: “Explore 100 factories”, “select thousands of products”, “Even Wanhong”. Therefore, Bai Yu is still visiting enterprises around during the Spring Festival holiday.This is also one of the ideas of thousands of drugstores in China.What forces the traditional drugstore people to start such a transformation?Many drugstore chains are experiencing a decline in sales due to the COVID-19 pandemic.Industry estimates, some retail stores can drop as much as 30 percent.The most important topic for retail pharmacies in 2022: How to survive?The combination marketing scheme of “attracting customer variety + curing variety + Maori variety”, which once made the survival of retail drugstores, is becoming more and more ineffective to the majority of users.Consumers have more choices and it’s hard to attract them just by looking at products.Bai Yu’s idea is to improve customer loyalty and the reputation of the drugstore and provide more value for consumers.In 2021, more and more pharmacies will begin to use digital systems to promote the management level of drugs for chronic diseases and serve middle-aged and elderly patients such as hypertension and diabetes.Most pharmacies have gradually increased full-time posts such as chronic specialists and internal trainers to improve patients’ medication compliance and stabilize the customer flow of pharmacies through the establishment of chronic disease files and regular return visits.Returning to specialty is the foundation of chain drugstores.After round after round of market competition, chain drugstores now tend to use professional skills to retain users.Ke Yunfeng, chairman of Dacanlin, has publicly stated that talent construction is always the key work of retail pharmacies, focusing on big health to do a good job at the entrance of community health, and professional service ability to provide high-quality products and services for the majority of consumers.A large number of pharmacies are required to transform into professional services, whether it is to choose popular products or to provide drug services for chronic diseases.That is the most urgent task for 2022.The double-channel favorable policy has been implemented in 550,000 pharmacies, ushering in opportunities. Opportunities will only be left to those who are prepared, and professionalism will bring more opportunities.In April 2021, the two-channel policy of national medical insurance negotiation was implemented.This is the first time that the country has explicitly included retail pharmacies in the medical insurance reimbursement system, and the reimbursement is mainly for new special drugs.This lets the general drugstore person see again another fleeting market profit growth point.Before the “two-channel” policy, the retail market mainly served over-the-counter products, accounting for less than 25% of China’s overall pharmaceutical market share.With the deepening of the process of medical reform, the outflow of prescriptions was once expected by major chain drugstores, hoping to share part of the market “cake” of medical institutions.There are investment institutions advance layout, grab prescription circulation business.Hillhouse started to acquire pharmacies on a large scale as early as 2017.However, after several years of waiting, the industry still does not make waves, with “loud thunder and small rain”. These promising growth points in the industry only stay in the analysis reports of major research institutions.”Double channel” officially opened the door of prescription circulation.After the release of the policy, pharmaceutical companies such as Baiji Shenzhou, Simcere, Astrazeneca, Fosun Kitt, Cahe Bio and so on have set up out-of-hospital markets, and 550,000 retail pharmacies have become hot property in the industry.As the liberalization mainly focuses on new special drugs and anti-tumor drugs, major chain drugstores will shift their strategic center to DTP pharmacy in 2021, focusing on receiving prescription outflow business.By September 30, 2021, the company has opened 37 DTP specialty pharmacies out of 55 stores, accounting for more than 80% of the company’s overall retail business.DTP is a retail drugstore that provides long-term, professional and personalized drug treatment management for patients by licensed pharmacists or pharmacists, and specializes in or concurrently sells drugs for special diseases.Compared with OTC business in the past, DTP business often requires a customer unit price of tens of thousands of yuan, which pharmacies all want to compete for.The traditional pharmaceutical retail giants, such as Miao, Yiyitang, Jianzhijia, Daishanlin and Yifeng, all carry out DTP business at the same time, but the staff who can master and operate DTP must be professionals proficient in clinical and pharmacy, rather than ordinary salespeople who can do it all.This is the weakness of retail pharmacies at present. Although the state has long required pharmacies to have licensed pharmacists, the phenomenon of “illegal license hanging” is not uncommon.According to the latest data of the State Food and Drug Administration, although the total number of licensed pharmacists in retail pharmacies has exceeded 584,000, according to the national requirement that each store should be equipped with two licensed pharmacists, the number of licensed pharmacists is still a big gap.What is more important is that a pharmacist s license will be able to serve patients with new specialty drugs such as PD-1 and CAR-T.Pharmacists, like physicians, are under pressure to learn on the job.2022 is a “turning point” for the retail pharmacy industry.Abundant funds, prescription outflows, DTP pharmacies and O2O e-commerce models have made the retail market increasingly competitive.Only the six listed companies increased 7,533 stores in the first three quarters of 2021, of which 1,850 stores were acquired, accounting for 24.56% of the net increase.Market concentration is rising fast.Mergers and acquisitions have a profound impact on the competition pattern of drug retail, and a large number of small and medium-sized chain drugstores will disappear.According to the Guiding Opinions on Promoting high-quality Development of Drug Circulation Industry during the “14th Five-Year Plan period”, it is clear that by 2025, 1-3 large-scale digital and comprehensive drug circulation enterprises of over 500 billion yuan and 5-10 large digital and comprehensive drug circulation enterprises of over 100 billion yuan will be cultivated.Capital markets have gradually become more rational.Analysts point out that retail pharmacies, as offline channels, will not only be places to sell drugs, but also the entrance to promote graded diagnosis and treatment, contracted family doctors, prevention and other big health ecosystem.Industry competition will eventually return to professionalism.According to the information on the Government website of China, in 2019, the income of licensed pharmacists will be relaxed to 10,000 yuan per month, but they will not be able to recruit anyone.The monthly salary of licensed pharmacists in Beijing is as high as 20,000 yuan, according to the signboard.Obviously, all the exploration and transformation of commercialization need the reserve of professional talents. “Snatchpeople” has become the common knowledge of retail pharmacies.Competition has also evolved from a single “price war” in the past to a competition among members of different services.China’s prescription drug market reached 1.21 trillion yuan in 2020, according to IQVIA.According to this data, the total potential market size of prescription outflow in China reached more than 400 billion yuan.In the trend of prescription outflow, retail drugstores will play an important role in the future.With the promotion of the policy of separation of medicine and prescription outflow, the social demand for professional pharmaceutical service is constantly upgrading, and the rise of professional pharmacy is just at the right time.Xie Zilong, chairman of common people big pharmacy, believes that the next wave of reshuffle opportunities for retail pharmacies may have arrived. What enterprises can survive in the future may depend on professional service ability.

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