MUMBAI: The domestic epharmacy market is poised to touch Rs 25,000 crore by 2022, at a robust CAGR of 63%, buoyed by an increased access of medicines to a majority of under-served population, longterm drug compliance for chronic conditions, and rising internet penetration.
Online sale of medicines, now at Rs 3,500 crore, could account for 15-20% of total pharma sales over the next 10 years — due to multiple factors including ‘Digital India’, e-healthcare initiatives, increasing health insurance, and schemes like Ayushman Bharat — says a report by Frost & Sullivan.
The e-platform is led by Medlife (about 30% market share), followed by Netmeds, 1MG, PharmEasy, Myra, CareOnGo and Pharmasafe. The global e-pharmacy market is led by North America and Europe, while major opportunity lies in addressing the vast unmet needs of the developing countries in Asia Pacific. Overall, organised pharma retail market valued around Rs 1.3 lakh crore is the third-largest in volume terms and the 13th-largest in value, globally. It grew from $28.5 billion in 2014 to nearly $30 billion in 2017, and is expected to clock a CAGR of 11.3% to reach $55 billion by 2020. The growth will be primarily driven by high disease burden, steady economic growth leading to higher disposable incomes, improvements in healthcare infrastructure, and an improved healthcare financing, it adds.
Retail pharmacy — which is highly fragmented with over eight lakh chemists across the country — faces challenges of increased competition, rising pressure on price controls, lack of documentation/ tracking and poor inventory management, the study says. These issues can be addressed through a technological upgrade of the model for streamlining processes and computerisation of pharmacies.