Advent of online pharmacy retailers in India will further increase the penetration of organized pharmacy

Mumbai, India, January 31, 2019 – The Indian pharmaceuticals market is the third largest in terms of volume and 13th largest in terms of value. This market grew from $28.5 billion in 2014 to $29.6 billion in 2017; it is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 11.3% to reach $55 billion by 2020. The domestic pharma retail market was valued at $17,643 million (INR 119,641 crores, approximately) in 2017. e-Pharmacy is at its nascent stage in India, and like other categories, has the potential to be a very large industry segment in the near future.

Online pharmacy.jpgAccording to Frost & Sullivan, the e-Pharmacy market in India is estimated to be about $512 million (INR 3,500 crores, approximately) in 2018 and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 63% to reach $3,657 million (INR 25,000 crores, approximately) by 2022. The e-Pharmacy model could account for 15% to 20% of total pharma sales in India over the next 10 years, largely by enhancing access to medicines for a majority of the under-served population, long-term drug compliance for chronic conditions, cost savings on bills, in addition to doctor consultation support. Medlife, Netmeds, 1MG, Pharmeasy, Myra, CareOnGo and Pharmasafe operate in this segment.

Frost & Sullivan’s Transformational Health team tracks the developments on all facets of the healthcare industry and our research and analysis addresses futuristic queries. To know more about e-Pharmacy in India, please write to Priya George, Corporate Communications at

Talking about Frost & Sullivan’s ‘e-Pharmacy in India – An Exponential Growth Opportunity’Dr. Nirod Kumar, Director, Transformational Health Practice, said, “e-Pharmacy is the need of the hour. e-Pharmacy should be made accessible and its benefits made available to Indian consumers, but with sufficient safeguards and under stringent regulatory control. Currently, there is a lot of misunderstanding about e-Pharmacies impacting traditional brick-and-mortar pharmacies. In reality, the e-Pharmacy model enables the existing traditional pharmacies to cater to a broader set of customers and also ensures that the inventory is consolidated by reducing the need for working capital, removing wastage from system and increasing margins, thus making the model sustainable.”

Major factors contributing to the growth of e-Pharmacy in India are; increasing Internet penetration, Digital India, various e-Healthcare initiatives by the government, increasing health insurance penetration (in addition to public insurance schemes like Ayushman Bharat Health Insurance Scheme) and increased spending on medicines. Value-added products/services are being offered by e-Pharmacies to widen customer base, like e-Diagnostic services, appointments for doctor consultation, e-Consultation, etc. These will help e-Pharmacy players become providers of end-to-end healthcare services. This is very useful in remote places where specialists are not available and even for patients who find it difficult to travel for consultations. Furthermore, medicines prescribed by specialists can be delivered to a patient’s doorstep.

The Union Health Ministry released draft rules on the sale of drugs by e-Pharmacies on 28 August, 2018 and is awaiting feedback, before finalizing the policy. The Central Government is expected to come out with the final regulations for companies selling medicines online, by the first quarter of 2019. We will discover the synergy that emerges when the right ecosystem is enabled with desired scale of investment and proactive policy for the creation of a win-win paradigm within the e-Pharmacy segment.

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