“China is a massive pharmaceuticals market, perhaps the biggest in the world. A high degree of fragmentation in the market also means that, until very recently, significant retail pharmacy chains were unable to generate sizeable market shares.
Recent reforms of the market should bring about a significant change in its fortunes, and the next few years are going to see a flurry of activity as leading chains vie to build significant market shares against the mass of smaller chains and independent pharmacy outlets. That competition will increasingly spill over into the online retail sphere, but it can only succeed so long as the retailers can convince consumers that the products and services they provide are worthy of their trust.
Building consumer confidence in the industry will therefore go hand-in-hand with the reform of the industry and the development of the market’s future, and it will be those retailers that invest now in building consumer trust and loyalty that will be most significant in shaping the future of this industry.”
– Matthew Crabbe – Asia-Pacific Research Director

In this report we answer the key questions:

  • What opportunities are there in a market so highly regulated and fragmented, and is the situation beginning to improve thanks to healthcare reform?

  • What will the ageing of the population and the changing consumer needs created by the reforming of the market mean to the leading chains as they endeavour to adapt and innovate their product and service offering to suit those changes?

  • Is the legitimate online pharmacy retail sector in China finally beginning to escape the guilt of association with the illegal online drugs market, and is it on the cusp of rapid growth?

  • Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) seems to still be a strong growth sector, but does it really have potential as part of the offering of the retail, over-the-counter (OTC) pharmaceutical market, and why has it not been more widely introduced before?


Included in this report:

  • Pharmacy retailing: This market covers retail outlets that are principally engaged in the distribution and sale of prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) pharmaceuticals through retail outlets, institutional retail outlets (located in hospitals) and online, but which also engage in sales of healthcare equipment and non-health-related goods.

  • Traditional Chinese Medicines (TCM): Pharmaceutical products manufactured using traditional Chinese native herbal or animal-based ingredients, with curative action focused on a more holistic, longer-term approach, often also with a strong preventative emphasis compared with the faster-acting, short-term results of Western chemical prescription and OTC medicines.

  • Vitamins and Minerals: This market covers single/dual, multi-vitamins and minerals. Market size comprises sales through all retail channels including direct to consumer.

Provinces of China

[graphic: image 1]
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