James Dudley Management

James Dudley Management

Defensive competitive Strategies and Drive for Scale Efficiencies – Reshaping Europe’s Wholesale Pharmacy

European intermediary pharmacy channels will continue to reshape through mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures both for defensive competitive reasons and to gain scale efficiencies. Stronger multinational businesses will be internationally expansionary especially in entering emerging markets both within and outside Europe.

So says the latest 20 Country study ‘OTC Distribution in Europe’ - the 2016 edition – the New Global Agenda

Over the years wholesalers and retailers have had to match changing needs of the customers they serve and the pressures on costs, margins and investment requirements needed to compete in the prescription sector of the market. At the same time governments across Europe are gradually changing the regulatory environment in such a way as to reduce the costs of service delivery and through reregulation to open up competition.

These measures have both directly and indirectly contributed to acceleration in the unfolding process of consolidation among pharmaceutical wholesalers in Europe.

In the 20 countries under study there are only two where the top four distributors combined market share is less than 70% of the wholesale pharmacy market and these are Romania (58%) and Spain (63%) as the figure 1 below shows.

Figure 1: Share of Intermediary Wholesale Pharmaceutical Market taken by the four largest Healthcare Distributors in each European State

Country % Market Share Total top 4 Distributors
Denmark 100
Finland 100
Hungary 100
Norway 100
Switzerland 98
Netherlands 93
Slovak Republic 93
Czech Republic 92
Sweden 92
Austria 88
UK 87
France 86
Belgium 80
Slovenia 79
Poland 78
Italy 76
Germany 74
Bulgaria 73
Spain 63
Romania 57

Source: James Dudley Management ‘OTC Distribution in Europe – 2016 edition’

The exit of Mediq from European wholesale and retail pharmacy was a notable event in the last two years. Advent sold off Mediq pharmacy chains and wholesale operations in Poland and the Netherlands.

AC Pharma the wholesale division was sold to Neuca and its retail chain Mediq was sold to Dr Max (Penta) in Poland in the autumn of 2013.

Brocacef (Phoenix) in the Netherlands began the process of acquiring Mediq’s Dutch wholesale and retail businesses in December 2014. While Mediq had only a minor share of the total pharmaceutical market of the 20 countries in the Dudley study, its shares in Poland and the Netherlands were significant.

The three largest and international distributors are Celesio (McKesson), Alliance Healthcare (WBA) and Phoenix which between them control just under half of the European intermediate pharmacy market.

There is at least one out of these three major wholesalers in 19 out of 20 European healthcare markets covered in the Dudley report. Celesio and Phoenix are present as major pharmaceutical wholesalers in 12 of the European States in the study. Alliance Healthcare is present in 9.

While the three control the total Norwegian wholesale healthcare market and 85% of the British market between them, Celesio and Phoenix together have 100% share of the Danish and 60% of the Austrian pharmaceutical markets.

Information for Editors

Contact James Dudley author of the Report – Informationa@james-dudley.co.uk

Graphs and figures - May be reproduced as long as they are acknowledged

OTC Distribution in Europe – the 2016 edition - the New Global Agenda is a long running in-depth multi-country study that explores and tracks change. It identifies the driving factors coming into play which will influence the distribution channel environment for the consumer healthcare industry now and in the future. It provides knowledge, comprehensive statistics and analysis covering 20 European countries, together with insights into an increasingly complex market sector from a highly respected strategy consultant, James W Dudley.

The 2016 edition of OTC Distribution in Europe is the tenth edition of a project which first began 25 years ago.

The report explores the distribution channels for consumer healthcare in : Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom

Publication Date December 2015


OTC distribution in Europe - 20 country consultancy report - with over 590 pages and over 300 graphs, tables & figures

More information and Table of Contents can be found at www.james-dudley.co.uk

20 Länderbericht Europäische Studie über Vertriebskanäle für Verbrauchergesundheitsprodukte und OTC-Medikamente zur Selbstmedikation

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