News - 28 February 2022

Value of pharmaceutical distribution in Poland reached PLN 56bn in 2021

According to the latest PMR report “Distribution on the pharmaceutical market in Poland 2022. Market analysis and development forecasts for 2022-2027”, the value of pharmaceutical distribution of drugs and parapharmaceuticals to patients amounted to PLN 56bn at gross prices, which represented an increase of 8% YoY. 


This value comprises:


  • sales of drugs and non-drugs to patients in offline pharmacies,
  • sales of drugs authorised for non-pharmacy distribution and dietary supplements in offline stores,
  • dietary supplement and drug online sales,
  • sales of dietary supplements and dietary foods in the MLM model, and
  • distribution of drugs in hospitals.

According to PMR forecasts, the highest CAGR between 2022 and 2027 in the wholesale segment will be recorded for wholesale of drugs to hospitals (10%), and in the retail segment – for online sales (10%).


Find comprehensive information about the current state of the Polish distribution on the pharmaceutical market in the PMR report:


Pharmaceutical distribution market in Poland.

Market analysis and development forecasts for 2022-2027.


Pharmacy market to grow by PLN 11bn between 2022 and 2027

In 2020, for the first time since 2013, the market growth for pharmaceutical sales in pharmacies was lower than 2%, mainly due to fewer other than coronavirus infections, reduced doctor consultations, travel, fewer injuries and a general decrease in spending in the wake of the economic crisis.


In 2021, sales of pharmaceutical products in regular offline pharmacies returned to relative normality. According to PMR forecasts, despite higher growth in other market segments, pharmacies will generate the highest growth rates in absolute terms in the coming years. Between 2022 and 2027, this will be an increase of almost PLN 11bn.

Despite rapid growth of e-commerce, offline pharmacies are the main place to shop

According to regular surveys conducted by PMR, offline pharmacies remain the main place to buy OTC (over-the-counter) drugs (95% of OTC drug buyers in 2021 made a purchase at a traditional pharmacy at least once). 

Pharmacies are also the main place to buy dermocosmetics and dietary supplements. However, in the case of the last two types of OTC products, they are more frequently purchased in other sales channels than in the case of drugs. Only the sale of OTC drugs in places other than pharmacies is strictly limited to the list of products containing substances admitted to non-pharmacy sales. Between 2016 and 2021, the proportion of Poles who declared that they had bought a drug in an online pharmacy increased significantly (from 2 to 16%), which on the one hand reflects sales trends – the growth of the market value reaches several dozen percent per year – and, on the other hand, the fact that 2020 was a very favourable period for online sales due to the pandemic.


It is worth noting that the current increase in the percentage of buyers is disproportionately large compared to sales growth. This is due to the fact that in the survey we register people who have made at least one purchase. More and more people are using the internet, even to buy standard drugs.

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Justyna Zagórska

Senior Analyst