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Original research
Additive manufacturing in community pharmacies: a framework for business model innovation
  1. Carsten Feldmann1,
  2. Olaf Rose2,3
  1. 1 Münster School of Business, University of Applied Sciences Münster, Munster, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
  2. 2 Research in Pharmacotherapy, impac2t, Munster, Germany
  3. 3 Department of Pharmacotherapy and Translational Research, University of Florida Health, Gainesville, Florida, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Olaf Rose, Research in Pharmacotherapy, impac2t, Munster 48147, Germany; rose{at}


Background Additive manufacturing offers new opportunities in that it brings the preindustrial production back into community pharmacies.

Methods This study was based on the qualitative research methodology of action research. The 55 domains of the St. Gallen Business Model Navigator were applied to three-dimensional drug printing (3DDP) from the pharmaceutical and the economic perspectives. Results were synthesised and applied to a model of potential customer drivers.

Results This study classified 55 relevant business models into a framework to systematise business model innovations. Out of the potential 55 business model patterns, 27 have been identified as suitable for implementation. Promising examples of business model characteristics are to foster customer loyalty by convenience and therapeutic benefits, to offer an individualised shopping experience, to provide a guaranteed availability, to leverage customer data for selling additive services, to create value in a specialised niche, to create mass customisation and to offer ultimate luxury.

Conclusion A reference model to systematise promising business model patterns for practitioners was developed, providing initial indications for implementation of 3DDP in community pharmacies. Pharmacies innovating or extending their business models can strengthen their positions in the value chain, create competitive advantages and expand into new markets.

  • cardiovascular
  • global health
  • economics

Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request.

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Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request.

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  • Contributors Conceptualisation; methodology; validation; formal analysis; investigation; resources data curation; writing—original draft preparation; writing—review and editing; visualisation; supervision; project administration: CF and OR.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests OR has received a speaker honorarium from Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Medac, MSD, Novartis, Noweda, Omnicell and Wort & Bild. CF has nothing to declare.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.