Rating of Russian Retail Pharmacies (2016)
It is very difficult to sum up the results of 2016 for the Russian pharmaceutical retail industry in one word. Despite the very pessimistic beginning and rather moderate optimism of the spring-summer season, the rate at which the demand was recovering in physical terms during the last months of 2016 surprised every single analyst. The development of the market is also quite optimistic, so that if the general economic situation does not deteriorate, we will be able to say that the crisis as ended and the industry had entered the phase of quantitative growth.
As for the qualitative development of the industry, there is also something to note. In addition to the already familiar tendencies towards consolidation, which were present during the fourth quarter of 2016, the Russian pharmaceutical retail industry both witnessed and participated in a number of processes related to the evolution of the interests of non-specialized retailers to the pharmaceutical market. These interests, caused a few years ago by a heated discussion about the need to allow the sale of pharmaceuticals outside pharmacies, have now been substantially transformed. Now we can see examples of a much deeper partnership of the FMCG retail with the pharmaceutical retail and even attempts of some FMCG retailers to independently play in the pharmaceutical market.
The interests of FMCG retailers are not limited to off-line formats. Over the past year, we have seen more than one example of the desire of online businesses to expand their product line through pharmaceuticals and parapharmaceuticals. However, the act regarding online trade of pharmaceuticals prepared at the end of 2016 has not yet entered into force. Obviously, this topic will be one of the key trends in the development of the Russia pharmaceutical retail industry in 2017.
Tab 1. Top 15 pharmacies with the largest share in the retail market of pharmaceuticals in Russia (2016)