Indian online medicine & e-pharmacy market: size, scope, and growth opportunities

The internet is no longer a luxury and is accessible to everyone, from metros to tier-II and III cities thanks to budget smartphones and affordable data plans. There is no denying how integral the world wide web is to modern businesses everywhere. One of the verticals to benefit immensely from ubiquitous online presence is the e-pharmacy industry. A recently conducted EY study suggests sector-wide exponential growth from $9.3 billion (in 2019) to USD 18.1 billion by the year 2023. 

Online medicine and e-pharma businesses have quickly adapted to meet the demands of the online audience. They’re luring in users by offering impressive discounts and deals on online medicine orders. This is a definitive step towards making the Indian audience comfortable with the concept of e-pharmacies and online medical orders. The traction gained by the e-commerce market over the last few years has laid the foundation for e-pharmacies to thrive. With a strategic approach, targeting the right demographic, and foolproof marketing, online medicine and pharmacy companies have acquired a loyal user base. Currently, the companies are focusing on building a holistic platform for complete health management. You can consult a doctor, book appointments, and get lab tests done via the readily available e-pharmacy apps.

Problems that the market faces

There are speculations for the prescription drugs segment to show significant growth by the year 2023, according to the report by EY. However, the internet pharmacy is also facing restrains due to the illegal medicine businesses online that are not adhering to the drugs and cosmetics rule. Another prominent factor that’s restricting the online market for pharmacies is data protection. The problem of data privacy makes lots of customers frown before sharing their valid prescription details with the chemists and druggists. 

Where can you buy medicines online?

There are multiple e-pharmacies in India like MedLife, PharmEasy, etc. who provide online medicine delivery. Platforms like these make it easy for the audience to avail proper healthcare without running around. All you need to do is click on various e-pharmacies and order the medicines that you require. The vendors will deliver the package right at your doorstep. In most cases, there is no minimum order. However, there is a minimal delivery fee that the consumer needs to pay to avail the services. 

What can I buy from e-pharmacies?

Whether it is medicine refill, buying health supplements or Blood Pressure Monitors, you can purchase all online from the e-pharmacies at a discounted price. There are great discounts on online medicine orders that you can avail while ordering. Most of the time, you need to upload your prescription to get the medicines to avoid the illegal sale of drugs.

Pharmacy Act Rule to follow

Though the e-commerce platforms are pivotal in the growth of the online sale of medicines, there are specific rules that the retailers have to follow under the drugs and cosmetic act.

Some of them are:

  • Only registered pharmacists can sell medicines online
  • Selling banned drugs is prohibited
  • Sale of H, H1, and X medicines are prohibited without a valid prescription
  • Selling the medication for a higher price than the actual MRP is an offense
  • Export of medicines is prohibited

If the health ministry and pharmacists understand the tremendous scope that the online market has, the industry will flourish in no time. All that is required is an in-depth understanding of the demographics and the market. The rapid penetration of internet coupled with the increasing use of smartphones has already fueled the business for the e-pharmacies in India. With some efforts, it is possible to outcome the numbers reported by EY.

This is a massive development for the country as well as the world. With the online pharmacies, people can get access to medication even at off hours without any problem. There are enormous opportunities in the field of medicine and e-pharmacies if tapped at the right time with the right strategies. The aim of reaching US$18.1 billion by the year 2023 isn’t challenging to achieve.

Author Bio:

Jaya Dwivedi

An impulsive backpacker, a storyteller, and an unsophisticated foodie, Jaya loves exploring new destinations and cuisines. She’s a Content Writer by the day, foodie by the night. She’s always on a lookout for the latest deals and offers to save maximum and fulfill her dream of traveling across the Globe!