Logistics Outsourcing Market for Medicines and Medical Equipment in Japan: Key Research Findings 2020
Yano Research Institute (the President, Takashi Mizukoshi) conducted a survey on the domestic logistics outsourcing business for medicines and medical equipment, medical equipment mail order services, second-hand medical equipment logistics business, etc. and found out the market size, the trends of market players, and future perspectives. This paper makes clear of the logistics outsourcing market for medicines and medical equipment.
The market size of domestic logistics services for medicines and medical equipment (based on the sales at logistics service providers) for FY2018 rose by 6.3%, generating 102 billion yen. With the shipment volume of medicines and medical equipment as well as use of outsourcing in logistics tasks increasing, together with approved ranges of outsourcing services expanded, the market is showing stable growth, attaining more than 1.5 times larger size than in FY2010.
Full-Scale Outsourcing in Progress at Domestic Major Pharmaceutical Companies
Since 1990s, the demand for domestic logistics services noticeably increased mainly at foreign-affiliated companies of pharma and medical equipment. In 2020s, full scale introduction of logistics services at domestic major pharma attracted attention, after which the services became generally known.
Domestic major pharmaceutical companies used to establish their own logistic centers in the past, at which they shipped and warehoused the products directly or through group companies. With recent increase in the number of logistics-specific companies, major pharmaceutical companies have started relying on such companies, aiming at streamlining and concentrating on their main business as well as at improving the business quality. In addition, as the Japanese version of GDP (Good Distribution Practice) guideline for the distribution of medicines was issued in December 2018 by MHLW, GDP-based quality control in distribution became a must. Whether or not having the ability to appropriately conform to GDP has become one of the critical factors to select outsourcing service providers.
Now that more than 60% of the companies of medicines and medical equipment are said to be using logistics services, the market potential is going to be limited.
Nevertheless, as the medical field is less apt to be influenced by economic fluctuations, its stability is attractive for the logistics service providers. In addition to existing service providers enhancing the business for medical industry, growing numbers of companies are attempting to newly enter the market, for instance, by launching new warehouses targeting pharma and medical companies.
There even are some logistics services provided by medicine wholesalers shipping the products from pharmaceutical companies. Also, with business alignment taking place between medicine wholesalers and logistics, there are moves to deal the whole logistics of pharmaceutical and medical products throughout the makers to patients.
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