Epharmacies are online platforms where consumers can buy various medicines. The ecommerce model utilized in Epharmacies means that consumers can purchase medicines without having to go brick-and-mortar pharmacies, as the online vendor will deliver medicines at the consumer’s doorstep. This makes the process more convenient for consumers, which has resulted in rising demand for the model across the world.
Increasing Use of Healthcare IT to Propel Global ePharmacy Market to US$128 bn by 2023
The growing incorporation of e-prescriptions due to the increasing utilization of healthcare IT in hospitals worldwide has also helped the spread of the ePharmacy industry, since e-prescriptions can simply be uploaded to ePharmacy websites, which can then procure the items in the prescription automatically.
According to Transparency Market Research, the global ePharmacy market was worth US$29.3 bn in 2014, indicating the rapid progress the market has made in the relatively short time since ecommerce became a commonly accessible tool. The market is expected to exhibit a sturdy 17.7% CAGR from 2015 to 2023 and reach a valuation of US$128 bn.
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Europe to Dominate Global ePharmacy Market
Regionally, the global ePharmacy market is led by North America and Europe; the former held a dominant 37% share in the global market in 2014. The easy incorporation of technologically advanced healthcare solutions such as ePharmacy platforms into the existing healthcare platforms in these regions has helped these regional markets. Europe is expected to take the lead in the global market in the coming years in terms of revenue generation.
APAC Emerges as a Greener Pasture for the Future
However, the major opportunity for the global ePharmacy market lies in the vast unmet needs in the developing Asia Pacific market. The China market for ePharmacy, in particular, carries vast potential for usage of ePharmacy platforms. According to a report released last month by the Boston Consulting Group, the China ePharmacy market was worth US$1.1 bn in 2014, rising rapidly since its early inroads around the turn of the decade. Government intervention in China has helped the ePharmacy industry massively, with the demand to reduce the reliance on hospitals for sales of medicines leading to a major growth opportunity for online pharmacies, particularly if the government allows the sale of prescription drugs via online portals.
India is also an emerging ePharmacy market with significant promise for the near future. Due to the large population of India, second only to China, the number of people with unmet medical needs is quite high. And with penetration of the Internet rising in urban as well as rural parts of India, the timing is perfect for ePharmacy market players to carve out a foothold. 1mg, an ePharmacy startup allowing consumers to not only purchase medicine online but also look up information and cheaper alternatives, recently announced a US$15-million series B funding round. Led by Maverick Capital Ventures and including previous backers such as Omidyar Ventures and Sequoia Capital, the round brought 1mg’s total funding to US$21 mn.
With government support in Asia Pacific rising at a promising rate and Europe expected to carry on supporting the spread of ePharmacies, the global ePharmacy market is expected to grow by leaps and bounds in the coming years.
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