Malaysian Pharmaceutical Retail Industry Marketing Essay

The study aims to supply an overview retail pharmaceutics industry and evaluate factors that propel and keep the market, authorities policies, gross revenues tendencies, possible growing and market mentality. Challenges related to the pharmaceutical retail sector will be outlined and assessed, and penetrations into selling programs being deployed to tap into available market chances in Malaysia will besides be discussed.

Malaysia ‘s retail pharmaceutics: an overview

Malaysia comes in at fifth in health care outgo when compared to choose Asiatic states, and is turning at about 13 % yearly ( Frost & A ; Sullivan 2008 ) . The entire national outgo on health care in 2009 exceeded USD 7 billion, and is projected to excel USD 10 billion by 2020. Retail pharmaceutics sector soon nevertheless contributes merely to 17 % of the entire outgo merely due to limitations refering to authorities policies, profession work force, and population perceptual experience.

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The retail pharmaceutics sector traditionally can be described utilizing organisation size and product/service mix standards. Sole units are comprised chiefly of independent pharmaceuticss, normally owned by druggists. Multiple-unit pharmaceutics organisations, or ironss, can be divided into little concatenation and big concatenation ( e.g. 30 or more units ) .

In add-on to organisation size, the retail pharmaceutics sector can be characterized by the product/service mix of the organisations, though there is some blurring of this differentiation. Some traditional classs include, supermarket ( e.g. AEON ) , and, beauty and health care shops ( e.g. Guardian, Watsons ) . Pure drug shop is virtually non-existent in the Malayan retail pharmaceutics sector as a consequence of no distributing separation between the druggists and medical practicians whereby pharmaceutical merchandises can be sold and dispensed by medical practicians every bit good. Consequently, this policy, have and still negatively impacting the pharmaceutics profession pattern and retail viability of pure drug shop in Malaysia. Therefore, current retail pharmaceuticss by and large offer both pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical product/services to keep feasible in Malayan market.

The major participants in the Malayan retail pharmaceutics scene are transnational corporations such as GCH Retail ( M ) Sdn Bhd and Watsons Personal Care Store, local companies such as Caring Pharmacy and Trustz Pharmacy, and a overplus of little independently operated pharmaceuticss.

In 2009, the multinationals, GCH ‘s Guardian and Watsons jointly dominated 54 % of the entire market portion whilst 46 % was divided among local retail pharmaceuticss as shown above ( Euromonitor 2010 ) . By and large experienced in covering with big industries, these transnational corporations compared to the domestic opposite numbers, have the experties in managing processing, packaging, logistics, stock list direction etc. In add-on, they have the advantages of economic systems of graduated table, retailing of in-house trade name, addition in market net income and portion, and wider price reduction parametric quantity for retail health care merchandises.

chapter 1

External and internal factors act uponing retail merchant ‘s selling schemes

In this bearish economic system, retailing in Malaysia recorded a downtempo in current value growing ( CVG ) in 2009 compared to old twelvemonth but still at a positive gait ( Euromonitor 2010 ) . GDP prognosis was reevaluated in May 2009 from 4 % to 5 % diminution for 2009 in visible radiation of deteriorating international economic mentality ( Euromonitor 2010 ) . While consumer assurance dwindled, discretional disbursement was reduced but appeared willing to pass a small spot more during promotional period or turned to cheaper options such as mid-priced/economical in-house trade names or generic medicines.

With on-going urbanisation tendency, higher instruction degrees and better life criterions generated greater enthusiasm among “ post recession shopper ” consumers sing self-medication. This farther strengthened the importance of retail pharmaceuticss as consumers were able to get OTC health care, nutritionary merchandises and prescription drugs from retail pharmaceuticss.

Overall tendency of the retail pharmaceutics sector is pitching towards the gross revenues of generics and OTCs in times of recession. Price of generics are by and large lower, 27 % -90 % , compared to branded/innovator merchandises ( Shafie & A ; Hassali 2008 ) . Therefore a more cost friendlier option for consumers whilst net income borders of generics are higher than branded/innovator merchandises, which is favourable to retail merchants – a win-win solution. However, gross revenues of non-prescription merchandises such as OTCs, TCMs, vitamins and addendums are still the chief subscriber to the retail pharmaceutics ‘s gross at 79 % . These merchandises likewise are seeing growing in gross revenues fueled by additions in cough, cold and allergy redresss, amid planetary lag since 2008.

Having said so, retail merchants still employ different selling schemes to separate themselves from bing rivals and effort to repositing themselves as market leaders – some successful while some struggled. Schemes refering to each of the different type of organisations will be farther discussed as follow:

Schemes employed by transnational corporation

The multinationals ( i.e Guardian, Watsons ) have taken a wide spectrum attack by trying to diversify from traditional dispensing services common to the construct of a pharmaceutics, into other other market sections sing to general health care and beauty solution to perforate into broad consumer sections during the clip of recession. The retail merchants responded by prosecuting in regular publicities and extended gross revenues period to promote disbursement and offering a combination of both pharmaceutical services with beauty attention.

Rapid enlargement schemes undertaken by taking chained retail merchants resulted in a significant escalation in the chained shop Numberss in the state. 2009 saw a little betterment in the mean merchandising infinite per mercantile establishment of beauty and wellness specializer retail merchants. More retail merchants began opening shops in shopping promenades which were larger than their standalone constitutions. Most beauty and wellness specializer retail merchants launch their retail ironss in Klang Valley. This is mostly due to greater buying power among urban consumers.

However, more beauty and wellness specializer retail merchants are spread outing outside Klang Valley in order to function the lifting population and turning buying power of consumers in East Malaysia and secondary provinces. Establishing of budget in-house trade name is to cover a wider scope of consumer section.

Guardian: mark market, merchandise and services, publicity

GCH Retail ( M ) Sdn Bhd is a wholly-owned subordinate of a Hong Kong based Dairy Farm International Holdings Ltd, listed on the Hang Seng Stock Exchange. Dairy Farm International Holdings Ltd is 78 % owned by the Jardine Matheson Group, which is listed on the FTSE Stock Exchange in add-on to secondary listings on the Singapore Straits and Bermuda Stock Exchanges ( Euromonitor 2010 ) .

In Malaysia, the company is involved in the operation of Guardian pharmaceutics, Cold Storage supermarket and Giant hypermarket mercantile establishments. In 2009, as a consequence of its aggressive mercantile establishment enlargement, with 20 new Guardian mercantile establishments, and proactive publicity including day-to-day specials boosted the company ‘s pharmaceutical market portion to 35 % – Figure 2.0, busying the largest cut of the retail pharmaceutics market section. GCH Retail ‘s Guardian trade name is taking the battalion because the retail format is bit by bit going popular in Malaysia. For case, Guardian spearheaded the construct ofA modern retail pharmaceutics by supplying professional audience and service by registered druggists, plus holistic wellness and personal attention solution.

GCH Retail ‘s in-house trade name offers quality merchandises at low-cost monetary values because the company ‘s in-house merchandises are manufactured and sourced locally. Furthermore, the company, aiming all consumer section, from low to high income earners, was really aggressive in advancing its place trade name merchandises in footings of advertisement and publicities, while besides developing its merchandise ranges. For case, Guardian dedicated half a page or full-page advertizements in their in-store booklets or cusps for their in-house trade name merchandises. GCH Retail ‘s portion of in-house trade name merchandises has been turning steadily mostly due to developing trade name acknowledgment every bit good as the wider scope of points available. In response to the Malayan authorities ‘s support enterprises designed to spur little and average sized endeavors ( SMEs ) in Malaysia, it is expected that the company will go on to beginning new merchandises for its in-house trade name lines.

External and internal factors analysis




Economic lag

Decentralized selling map: inconsistent trade name image


Retracted consumer disbursement

Increased competition between rivals


Import/Export: Malayan Ringgit V Hong Kong Dollar

Good direction: able to react to market alteration


Change in consumer ‘s disbursement form

Both external and internal factors act upon how the company decides to run. The external factors will be the same for all the market participants.

Thomas augustus watsons personal attention shop: mark market, merchandise and services, publicity

Thomas augustus watsons Personal Care Stores ( WPCS ) is a subordinate of the AS Watson Group which is entirely owned by the Hong Kong based Hutchison Whampoa Ltd listed on the Hang Seng Stock Exchange chief board and has been in Malaysia since 1994.

Bing the largest beauty and wellness retail concatenation in Asia, in Malaysia, with 211 mercantile establishments countrywide following the successful amalgamation and acquisition of Apex Pharmacy Sdn Bhd in Jun 2005, WPCS is one of the most complete personal attention concatenation shops ( Euromonitor 2010 ) . In 2009, albeit with pharmaceutical value portion of 19 % – Figure 2.0, due to increasing figure of beauty and wellness specializer retail merchants, WPCS remained the largest community pharmaceutics retail concatenation in Malaysia. Having said so, uninterrupted selling attempts and publicities such as telecasting advertizements, complimentary beauty and wellness information to consumers, and storewide 20 % price reduction run, helped keep its autumn in value portion.

WPCS offers competitively priced and choice in-house trade name merchandises. Its in-house trade name lines consist of a larger proportion of cosmetics and toilet articless, disposable paper merchandises, OTC health care merchandises, bottled H2O and electrical points, is chiefly designed for mass consumers, particularly the budget terminal of the market. The company has been really active in forcing its in-house trade name. For illustration, it has dedicated more shelf infinite in-store for its inhouse trade name points. Coupled with turning trade name acknowledgment, every bit good as a wider scope of merchandises, the company ‘s portion of in-house trade name has grown steadily.

External and internal factors analysis




Economic lag

Over enlargement ensuing in debauched consumer services


Retracted consumer disbursement

Increased competition between rivals


Import/Export: Malayan Ringgit V Hong Kong Dollar

Extensive mercantile establishment coverage countrywide


Change in consumer ‘s disbursement form

Schemes employed by smaller pharmaceutics

Marketing theoretical account of smaller pharmaceuticss focus on set uping good resonance with its client base and to supply separately customized pharmaceutical services for their clients to provide on the demands of selected consumer sections. The smaller retail merchants responded by provided drawn-out hr services for the convenience of consumers after working hours entree to pharmaceutical points and advice. Loyalty selling is introduced to keep or spread out their client base in visible radiation of even more competitory environment. A trueness plan may be specific to an single retail merchant, or an independent alliance strategy affecting a few spouses. The latter theoretical account is deriving popularity in Malaysia and is established in Europe, Australia and Canada. Specialized services sole to pharmacy such as pre-packed dosettes medicines to guarantee better conformity to medicate, insulin dosage accommodations for uncontrolled diabetes direction and dolophine hydrochloride replacing therapy for heroin dependent patient, cater to alone patients section that is bit by bit increasing.

Caring pharmaceutics: mark market, merchandise and services, publicity

Caring Pharmacy Sdn Bhd is a group of pharmaceuticss under one streamer jointly portions the same supply and stock list direction similar to that of concatenation shops, nevertheless each mercantile establishments are independently owned and operated by druggists.

Caring Group presently have 46 registered druggists runing 40 mercantile establishments in Klang vale. Therefore giving the Group the highest figure of druggist to outlet ratio among retail pharmaceutics operators in Malaysia.

With market portion of 12 % in 2009 – Figure 2.0, Caring is emerging fast as one of the most constituted local community retail pharmaceutics. Supplying extended hr services from the early hours up to midnight proved to be a powerful scheme in set uping its market portion as it provides clip flexibleness to consumers. Caring offers professional audience by registered druggists on unsophisticated complaints and medicine direction solutions such as pre-packed medicines similar to the multi dose Webster-PakA® for the consumer ‘s convenience.

The group has been actively advancing its druggist audience service. For case, public consciousness negotiations by druggists on wellness subjects such as high blood pressure, diabetes, weight-management etc. are often organized. Launched in 2006, the first pharmaceutics wages plan as a points accretion and gift salvation card with Malaysia ‘s premier multi-party trueness plan – BonusLink, enabled Caring to set up closer contact with their regular clients.

External and internal factors analysis




Economic lag

Too focused on domestic/localization growing


Retracted consumer disbursement

Increased competition between rivals


Change in consumer ‘s disbursement form

Good corporate nucleus value: druggist service for all consumer sections


chapter 2

Strategic recommendation for the retail pharmaceutics industry

The Malayan every bit good as the planetary economic system continued to see tough times in 2009. Despite an unemployment rate that was on the rise and consumer disbursement falling, consumers remained mostly loyal to set up pharmaceutics names when it comes to carry throughing their health care demands. Some consumers besides switched to self-medication in times of minor complaints as a command to travel back to work for fright that they might lose their occupations in the recession. Retail pharmaceuticss are seeing an addition in consumer gross revenues part of 0.2 % for 2009 against 2008. This was mostly due to the enlargement of mercantile establishments such as Thomas augustus watsons which attracted consumer involvement for its one-stop shopping.

Offer Mix



Monetary values

Promotion Mix

Gross saless publicity


Gross saless force

Public dealingss

Direct & A ; on-line selling

Target consumers

Marketing-mix scheme

Target consumers: consumer demographic mentality and lifestyle tendency

In 2007, the population in Malaysia was reported to be merely over 27 million which, harmonizing to United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. By 2015, it ‘s projected that Malaysia ‘s population will make more than 30.7 million.

Presently, the state has comparatively immature population, with about 60 % Malaysians below the age of 30 in 2007. Regardless, the population is steadily aging, with the average age of the population increasing from 22.5 old ages in 1995 to 24.6 old ages in 2007. The aging population in Malaysia, normally gaining more than their younger opposite numbers and are normally comparatively established in footings of household and place and more aware of their wellness position, is expected to drive consumer health care outgo. Consumer of this class is expected to drive increased demand for medical and health-related merchandises and services, including pharmaceuticals and OTC drugs, vitamins and dietetic addendums, wellness drinks and medical equipment.

On the other manus, it ‘s projected that still over one-half of the Malayan population will be under 30 years-old in 2015 so, while there will be some new accent on merchandises for older consumers, younger consumers will stay a powerful force, exerting important buying power and driving go oning demand for the broad scope of young person oriented merchandises. This class of consumers are going more wellness witting, recent study that 80 % of fast traveling consumer goods shoppers now think about their wellness more than they did earlier. Hence, this will spur demand for nucleus health care merchandises and influence gross revenues in digressive sectors such as nutrient and drinks, and health care services.

Offer Mix: Merchandise portfolio accommodation and pricing tactic

Product portfolio accommodation

As life costs, including health care costs, are expected to lift, consumers will be more endeavous to seek out economical in-house trade name merchandises and self-medicate, severally. Additionally, more consumers understand the helpfulness of vitamins and dietetic addendums as preventive steps against environment, diet and age-related complaints such as articulation and back hurting, immune systems, osteoporosis and deficiency of balance nutritionary values.

The comparatively fast growing rate of consumer health care gross revenues was non every bit dispersed among in-house trade name lines. It should be noted that non all classs saw higher in-house trade name growing, as some were largely dependent on growing by branded merchandises. Within consumer health care, in-house trade name merchandise line is expected to turn in lesion intervention merchandises such as lodging plasters and topical germicidal/antiseptic – Figure 3.0, particularly in the thick of an economic lag and an grippe A ( H1N1 ) eruption, severally. Coupled with rigorous enrollment demands in Malaysia for all medical specialties, either branded or generics, in-house trade name is improbable to execute good in consumer health care classs such as unwritten anodynes, cough, cold and allergic reaction ( hay febrility ) remedies or digestive redresss as consumers remained mostly loyal to set up trade names chiefly because these trade names are long-time sure names that consumers find most effectual or have merely grown accustomed to buying.

However, consumers will progressively demand convenient and effectual merchandises so as to run into their progressively nerve-racking and busy life styles. Therefore, easy to use or easy to utilize merchandises such as Nexcare Acne Patch and Gaviscon Liquid Sachets are expected to pull consumer involvement, particularly among the younger coevals of the population.

Retailers will necessitate to spread out their consumer health care merchandise ranges in order to keep competitory in the market. However, retail merchants should concentrate on bring forthing lower-cost and in-house branded merchandises such as topical anodynes, antipruritics, other lesion interventions, vitamins and dietetic addendums, that enjoy strong demand among consumers.

Pricing tactic

Consumers will be shopping around for the best trades. It is non necessary for retail merchants to cut list monetary values, but may offer more short termed monetary value publicities, lower measure threshold price reductions, supply recognition to long-standing clients, and more sharply monetary value smaller battalion sizes. In tough times, monetary value cuts pull more consumer support than publicities such as mail in offers and sweepstakes.

Promotion mix: conventional advertisement and online selling

Despite the growing of electronic communications, printed newssheet and telecasting still play an of import function in Malaysians ‘ day-to-day life and their chase of information and amusement. As shown in Figure 4.0, printed adspend dominated 54 % followed by telecasting adspend at 37 % of the entire adspend severally for the twelvemonth 2009. Major newspapers include three English-language dailies, two Malay-language dailies, five Chinese-language dailies, and two Tamil-language dailies. The Malaysian has a broad scope of magazines covering life style, manner, concern, and particular involvement subjects such as fishing, driving, wellness and health and child care. Magazines in Malaysia are normally published on a two weeks or monthly footing and are available via subscription, at retail mercantile establishments, convenience stores and little food market shops.

The cyberspace has had a important impact on Malaya over the past several old ages. The figure of cyberspace users grew from about five million users in 2000 to more than 12 million users in 2007, reflecting growing of 144 % . Just as significantly, the family incursion rate of personal computing machines in Malaysia increased from 13.5 % in 1995 to 34.7 % in 2007. Tethered with such growing, online adspend recorded 72 % spike growing from 2007-2009, and is expected to go on capturing readership portion at the disbursal of printed media, in-line with family incursion rate of internet-enabled computing machines additions in Malaysia.

Mobile advertisement will be in trend as internet handheld devices additions market incursion, peculiarly among the younger population. Ad platforms such as Apple ‘s iAd is a premier illustration of cutting-edge Mobile advertisement where advertizements are non merely enlightening but synergistic every bit good. Ads of this sort, can be updated existent clip by retail merchants with short-run gross revenues publicity similar to Malaysia Airline ‘s Lunch-hour flight trades or supply synergistic online shopping experience, will revolutionise conventional construct of promotional advertisement.

Hence, cyberspace will hold an impact on how retail merchants attempt to make Malayan consumers and, in a less important but nevertheless turning manner soon on how Malaysians store. However, as in most states, on-line advertisement and cyberspace retailing is expected to increase.


Consumers in Malaysia are altering their health care shopping behaviour in assorted ways at times of recession. While many opted for other more economical retail merchants, there are some who remained loyal to their preferable retail merchants while cut downing the figure of trips and disbursement. They are more comfy in seeking out trades and utilizing vouchers, and will buy both in-house trade names or branded merchandises whichever provides the best value. Definition of value is besides altering. Previously, value is frequently perceived as quality and options, but during recession this is synonymous with monetary value, while traveling out of recession, value will intend that consumers get what they want at the best possible monetary value. Pharmacy retail merchants can capitalise on consumer ‘s demands by supplying increased individualized selling and shopping experience. Consumers are switching towards meaningful and alone shopping experience, peculiarly in buying healthcare points.

Consumer in control

Present consumers know are clear of what they want and many will travel the distance in hunt of the best offers, some consumers, due to their lifestyle fluidness merely necessitate merchandises that satisfy their demands. Mobile shopping will be the following frontier for retail merchants to venture into as on-the-go consumers who emphasize on shopping convenience and velocity of minutess. Pharmacy retail merchants can tap into this market and explicate selling programs unique to loyal nomadic shoppers. Conventional in-store consumers are bombarded with excessively much merchandise information making confusion and delaying purchases. Retailers and makers should join forces to fulfill consumer ‘s demands such as utilizing attractive colourss and making simplistic merchandise packaging to ease consumer ‘s hunt for health care merchandises.

Retailers diversify and re-brand to remain relevant

Pharmacy retail merchants diversifying into in-house merchandise line will necessitate to factor in consumer ‘s shopping penchant on established branded health care merchandises when explicating in-house merchandise selling programs. Many consumers maintained trueness to set up trade names due to acquaintance to a merchandise or confident with its effectivity. However, in-house branded merchandise line such as lesion attention, vitamin and addendums are projected to turn due to regional disease eruption and economic downtempo. New and better in-house merchandise lines with convenience in head such as topical anodynes and sachet digestive redresss will appeal to consumers peculiarly the younger clients. Retailers may necessitate to revamp certain merchandise lines with new design, better in-house trade name offers and a compelling ad-campaign, to appeal to younger consumers.

Future of retail pharmaceutics

Retail pharmaceutics landscape is switching mostly attributed to economic alterations, the growing of on-line retailing and more late nomadic commercialism. With increasing usage of smart handheld devices in Malaysia, nomadic advertisement and commercialism is projected to turn well. Retailers will hold to use a multi-channel selling attack. Online retailing will supply a platform for retail merchants disseminate alone and targeted merchandise offers for consumers to research, plan their shopping trips and finally attract consumers into shops. Once in shop, consumers will look for premium service coupled with simplified shopping experience in footings of merchandise handiness and easiness of turn uping the merchandises. Now more than of all time consumers going more sophisticated and informed in doing picks. They desire to cognize the beginning of the merchandise, what they are made of and how their lives can be improved with them. In general, future consumer wants a simplified, individualized and meaningful shopping experience with a focal point on value.

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