BEIJING, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- China is home to 277,000 independent pharmacies, accounting for 65.6 percent of the country's total medicine stores, according to a report on the sector unveiled Wednesday.
The report, titled "The 2012 Blue Paper on the Development of Independent Pharmacies in China," was produced by the China Medical Pharmaceutical Material Association.
An independent pharmacy refers to a retail pharmacy that is not affiliated with any pharmacy chain or owned by a publicly traded company. They are usually privately-run businesses.
The report said independent pharmacies have been struggling to survive amid tougher competition and have shown "great vitality" in China despite a lack of government support and social investment.
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