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The Development of Digital Distribution Channels in Poland’s Retail Pharmaceutical Market

  • Jana Pieriegud
Chapter

Abstract

Over the past 20 years, Poland’s pharmaceutical industry has undergone privatization and fundamental modernization to become the second largest pharmaceutical market in Central and Eastern Europe. Pharmaceutical industry is one of the most innovative and fastest growing sectors in Poland, worth an estimated 6 billion euros in 2014. The over-the-counter (OTC) medicines market is significant and is expected to develop as the most attractive segment of Poland’s pharmaceutical market in the next few years. The distribution of drugs, including OTC, is subject to stringent regulations: most OTCs must be sold in pharmacies, although a list of products that may be sold in other retail outlets is published by the authorities. In 2014, about 23% of OTC sales revenues came from non-pharmacy distribution channels, such as hypermarkets, supermarkets, and traditional grocers.

Electronic commerce in Poland is still at an early stage of development but has strong growth potential and includes online sales of pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. The first Polish online pharmacy was established in 2004. At the beginning of 2016, there were almost 300 pharmacies selling via online mail order, yet the channel had less than a 1% share of the OTC segment. Polish online pharmacies are run by traditional brick and mortar pharmacies under the relevant licenses and permits. This chapter examines the changes in Poland’s pharmaceutical market, describing the evolution of online pharmacies and identifying barriers to the development of new business models utilizing the advantages of channel integration.

Keywords

Pharmacy Electronic commerce Poland Retail Online Omnichannel Distribution 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of TransportWarsaw School of EconomicsWarsawPoland

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