One of the recent headlines printed by Economic Times highlighted the fact that - amid the ongoing second wave of Covid in India, the online pharmacy sector of India is again witnessing a surge in demand.
The regional lockdowns and increasing number of cases in various cities have catalysed the dependency on e-pharmacies of India. As result, the total sales of the sector has jumped nearly 25% between March -April.
Since this online pharmacy sector has been playing a crucial role since 2020 in India, let answer a few questions like-
What is the prospectus for the growth of online pharmacies in India?
How has the e-pharmacy sector performed?
Is it safe to buy medicine online in India?
To know more about this sector, continue with the reading.
Before the onset of Covid, the pharmaceutical (or pharma) industry of India stood as the third-largest player in terms of volume whereas it was the thirteenth-largest player in terms of value in the world.
At the same time, the retail segment of the pharma industry has been facing certain roadblocks such as rising pressure for price, low industry margin, a poor documentation system, etc. And, this is where the e-pharmacies got a golden opportunity to seize.
The gaps of the retail pharma segment have been shortened by e-pharmacy in recent times as they have smoothened the process of buying medicines or even send them to anyone, anywhere!
Unlike physical shops, online pharmacies are capable of maintaining more stock to aid the supply and demand of medicines, medical equipment, etc.
People ailing with some chronic illness or diseases that require regular medication find it convenient to order online.
The online pharmacies can procure required products directly from the manufacturers hence they do offer discounts.
Most of the e-pharmacies now require you to upload authentic prescription for several medicines and the data is stored digitally so there are lesser chances of any kind of counterfeit.
All in all, they have become a one-stop solution to all your healthcare needs
The online pharma industry of India has definitely become a competitive landscape in past few years as apart from Medlife many players like Netmeds, PharmEasy, 1 mg, MedsOnWay, etc are joining the bandwagon in the mainstream market.
Not only this, most of them have enabled their online services to tier 2 and tier 3 cities because of which more customers are getting on board. Let us have a look at the market share pattern of major e-pharmacies in India.
Some of the online pharmacies in India (especially during the Covid pandemic) have scaled up their services by using their investment capital. For instance, you can use services like sample collection for lab tests or online doctor consultation through apps or websites of Medlife, PharmEasy, Netmeds, etc.
In fact, in 2019, one of the leading consulting firms estimated that the Indian online pharmacy industry would grow by 7 times between 2019 and 2023 and the growth is projected to take place at the CAGR of 65.5%.
Since March 2020, the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the business of online pharmacies.
Be it ordering medicines, masks, PPE kits or sample collection for Covid test or other lab tests, e-pharmacies have allowed people to remain safe inside the four walls of their house and access the healthcare essentials easily.
Apart from the already established players from this sector such as Medlife, Netmeds, etc a few startups namely, 1 mg, Myra and Practo have been projecting strong growth. With this, the traditional pharmacy chain of Apollo has initiated the 2 online platforms - Apolloharmacy. in and Apollo247. According to FICCI, the online pharmacies in India will see increased penetration of 1.4 times as compared to pre-covid time.
The importance of online pharmacy in the Covid-19 battle can be understood by the fact that last year in March (despite lockdown), the Home Ministry marked the online delivery of medicines as essential services. Currently, when the country is facing a grave situation in form of Covid-19 second wave, the online pharmacies and people working for them have proven to be no less than corona warriors.
Lastly, the e-pharmacies hare successfully consummating the purpose of digital Indian as well as national development.