India E-Pharmacy Market shall reach a value of $2x61.4 Million in 2027, growing with a CAGR of 70% during the forecast period of 2020 to 2027.
E-Pharmacy refers to the presence of a pharmacy over the internet that offers medical and healthcare product to the patients directly to their homes. Here, a customer doesn’t need to leave the confines of his home, and the medicines will get delivered to their doorstep via shipping and courier services. The mobile internet revolution has further eased the process as people can order medicines from their phones. Patients can even upload their prescriptions to get prescription drugs with ease. With fantastic discounts and offers on purchase and payment, people can also save a lot of money on the deals.
The Indian E-pharmacy market has been accelerating in the E-commerce industry space in recent years. And henceforth entrepreneurs and industrialists have been taking a keen interest to take advantage of this growth of the market. There have been changes in the law and order of the online pharmacy which has further boosted investment in this sector exponentially. This is an outstanding opportunity for the pharmacy sector to take a plunge into the E-commerce division, now more than ever.
The online pharmacy market in India has shown remarkable signs in growth since 2018 and is estimated to experience a 63% CAGR growth by 2023. However, the covid-19 pandemic has become the greatest overall boost of the Indian E pharmacy as India has adapted digitalisation and the lockdown encouraged lots of local pharmacies to set up online stores. Although the largest online pharmacies are in North America and Europe, this boost is gradually creating an expansion in the Indian E pharmacy. The Indian E pharmacy market offers discounted drugs and medicines to their buyers as lots of Indias are moving more to online purchasing. However this market is also experiencing a few online transaction challenges like canceled order, delayed receipt, wrong pricing , and struggles to get medication delivered to customers in the rural areas. Irrespective of that, the Indian E Pharmacy market is still gaining attention in the E commerce economy. Many online pharmacies in India are advancing and gradually topping the charts. Customers find it more convenient buying from the online pharmacy because of the availability and fast delivery without having to step out of the house. The online pharmacy is thus becoming an attractive investment due to it’s estimated growth and past positive reports from investors in the market, as it has been able to yield about $190 million revenue for investors so far. Regarding the challenges of the E pharmacy, expansion of the E pharmacy market to employ advanced technologies can help curb some of these challenges. The reform Modi government has also become one of the greatest boost of the Indian E pharmacy. The simplification of regulations and increasing awareness of the roles of private sectors in the economy would also encourage more pharmacies to obtain digital licence. With the economy of India being open to competition in this respect, Indian E pharmacy would likely become one of the worlds largest.
The exceptional growth of Indian E - pharmacy market is stimulated by the emerging number of cases of chronic ailments for example, Hypertension, Diabetes and Respiratory diseases. This increase in the number of chronically ill people has propelled the industry of Indian E- Pharmacy forward. Not only this, but an added advantage given by the government in terms of push towards the Digital India programme has motivated the business men and women to step into the E- pharmacy market of India. With the advent of Telemedicine it is possible to reach even the rural part of the country which roughly comprises about 60% of the population. This has tremendously changed the scenarios in this sector. Also keeping in mind of the Pandemic, it is all the more essential to digitize the pharmacy sector.
Although there have been deficits in this sector, which will need to be fixed. For instance, internet availability in certain parts of rural India is still a major issue. Further, the trust factor plays a key role. The people may fear getting false medicines or fallacious prescriptions. Even at places where there are complete internet facilities, the shortcoming of unavailability of mobile applications in people’s own regional language may pose a hurdle. Absence of data security and fear of data breach is yet another problem. Tackling these issues must be a priority for the E-pharmacy companies in order to sustain the growth.
The Indian healthcare scenario will be witnessing a positive transformation with the rise of E-pharmacy market through the year 2020 and beyond. The prospect looks bright, given the fact that it makes purchasing medicines and healthcare products quite efficient and comfortable. With the spread of COVID-19 virus in the country, the e-pharmacy sellers are the only safe option for people to get medicines delivered to their doorsteps because stepping out in such a situation is a big “NO”. More players are coming together in the market to offer seamless service to the customers, and hence the consumer base will increase further in the coming days. The pace at which the market and demand are growing, the industry is expected to flourish within a year. The market trends show a rapid upward movement, and will potentially boost the business of multiple logistics partners of such e-pharmacy companies.
It is the need of the hour for the Government, E-Pharmacy companies and Entrepreneurs to amalgamate their strategies and work towards a common goal of making the online health facility affordable, accessible and trustworthy.
India E-pharmacy Market Growth and Trends
The major factor contributing to the e-pharmacy market growth is the increase in the usage of the internet. The advancements in the network of the service providers as well as broadband connections are said to substantially increase over the coming years in the country thus contributing to an increase in the market growth for e-pharmacy. With the Digital India initiative, the number of internet users is said to increase rapidly in the future. Along with this, there have been a lot of e-healthcare initiatives that have been started by the government which has boosted the market demand of the e-pharmacy market growth. Also, there has been an increase in the health insurance penetration in the country which has led to increased awareness about the importance of health leading to the e-pharmacy market growth.
There has been a major change in the disease pattern in the country leading to a greater number of people suffering from chronic diseases which has increased the need for daily medicine supply. E-pharmacy provides medicines at reduced cost along with regular reminders to refill their medicine supply. This has been a key factor in the e-pharmacy market growth. The changes to the foreign direct policy allowing 100% investment in the pharmaceutical and the medical sector leading to an increase in the market demand for e-pharmacy in India. Rising healthcare concerns and insurance amongst the increasing population has led to an increase in the spending on medicines leading to the e-pharmacy market growth.
The major limitations of the e-pharmacy growth in India are the emergence of fake and illegal sites, drug abuse, and medication errors.The key growth drivers for the e-pharmacy market include increase in internet penetration and use of smartphones facilitated by the ease of placing orders for medicines through an e-commerce platform, rise in chronic diseases, rising per capita income, and healthcare spend resulting therefrom. The availability of drugs for various illnesses has stimulated drug makers to avail opportunities for growth and use online retail pharmacy for fostering growth in the e-pharma segment. The end-to-end healthcare services provided by it help patients to consult doctors who are not available near their location or patients who are restricted from travelling, an added advantage. E-pharmacies are most likely to play a vital role in the lives of majority of these patients in the coming days as they would create a high demand for the convenience of accessibility of their therapeutics without personally visiting the doctor each time they require a refill for their medications. With existing imbalance in lifestyles, unhealthy dietary habits, and degenerating environmental conditions, the number is bound to show manifold increase in in the future, and this in turn would be a propellant in fuelling massive growth in the e-pharmacy market. The penetration of this service in the market is leading to an increase in the overall popularity of the online services vis-a-vis offline services among the consumers.
Some of the primary concerns faced by consumers in the process of dealing with online pharmacies include placement of orders and their delivery, where orders are often cancelled after being placed or consumers encounter delay in the delivery of medicines, replacement with substitutes, which implies formulation of a different brand from what is prescribed by the doctor, manipulation of orders, where the quantity delivered exceeds the quantity ordered, pricing where the amount charged is higher than the MRP, and dearth of customer support.
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