The pharma e-commerce market will likely grow at 22.37% CAGR during the 2021-2028 period. The growing demand for convenience, high penetration of mobile connectivity, and growing demand for prescription-based service to cater to a rising sedentary lifestyle will drive major growth for the pharma e-commerce market. Furthermore, rising incidences of illnesses like chronic diseases, disabilities, and sexual health will also spell new avenues for growth in the conventional pharmacy sector during 2021-2028 period.
Disabilities and Closure of Rural Pharmacies to Drive Growth
The growing incidences of disabilities in key regions like North America, and soaring number of e-pharmacies have led to major expansion in the pharma e-commerce market globally. According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, between 2009-2011 and 2015-2017, number of disabilities in children aged 3-17 soared tremendously. CDC reported that 17% children were reported by parents. This number amounts to 1 in 6 children diagnosed with autism, and other developmental disabilities. Moreover, the CDC also reported that children in rural areas were more likely to be diagnosed with a developmental disability as compared to their counterparts in urban areas. The disability is also common among adult population, wherein the CDC estimates that 61 million or 1 in 4 adults are diagnosed with disabilities. Among these, nearly 14% are diagnosed with limited mobility, 11% with cognition, 6.8% with independent living, 5.9% with deafness, 4.6% with vision, and 3.7% with self-care. Furthermore, people with disabilities also live with co-morbidities like heart disease, diabetes, obesity, among others. This has become a major concern for healthcare agencies like the CDC, which encourages expansion of e-pharmacies catering to rural areas to meeting growing need for patients.
On the other hand, despite tremendous demand for regular medicines, conventional pharmacies in rural areas are often on the brink of closure. According to the RURPRI Centre for Health Policy Analysis, 1231 independently owned pharmacies faced closure between 2003-2018. This included 630 that were the only sources of prescription medicine in the rural area. Despite the push from agencies like the CDC, financial challenges, and hard to replace category of pharmacists have been major reasons for closure of conventional pharmacies. According to the Bureau of Labour, less than 12% pharmacists in the US are employed in the non-metropolitan areas. This has forced a major disruption in traditional pharmacy services. Furthermore, demand for new services like sexual health also remain a promising new arena for growth in the global e-commerce market.
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According to the CDC, the STI or sexually transmitted disease affected 1 in 5 people on any given day in 2018. This number, amounting to 20% of the total population was estimated to cost the United States nearly $16 billion in healthcare costs alone. The CDC report from the same year, also suggests that most STIs still go unreported due to limited access, and awareness among people. The online pharmacies provide a convenient, and private tool for individuals to open about their sexual health, and order essential medicines to cater to conditions like sexually transmitted diseases. The growing number of disabilities, the growing financial pressure on traditional pharmacies, and new arenas like sexual health will promise major opportunities for growth for players in the pharma e-commerce market.
Chronic Diseases to Remain Major Drivers of Growth in the Pharma E-Commerce Market
According to the World Health Organization, chronic diseases remain a major source of burden for the global population, and is increasing at brisk pace worldwide. For example, according to the WHO estimates, the proportion of NCDs or Non-Communicable Diseases accounted for 60% death in 2001. The WHO estimated that this amounted to 46% burden of diseases. Furthermore, the WHO also estimated that the cardiovascular diseases, increasingly associated with sedatary lifestyle will account for over half the deaths, with other conditions like obesity, diabetes representing a major challenge for healthcare industry worldwide. The diseases continue to increase the burden as these not only affect a large population today, but also have started affecting populations at an earlier stage in life. Furthermore, previous reports seem to have understated the impact of chronic diseases in emerging nations, which show high levels of public health issues. The WHO reports that over 79% deaths worldwide in developing countries can be attributed to the chronic diseases. Some major diseases plaguing the developed world include tuberculosis, AIDS, malaria, among others. Moreover, the earlier notion that some lifestyle diseases are diseases of affluence is also increasingly going out of fashion. For example, it is clear now that diseases like obesity, diabetes affects the poorer population the worse in developed countries. The rapid industrialization in the developing world, the growing disposable income, and increasing burden of various diseases will remain major driver for growth in the global pharma e-commerce market. The widespread adoption of digitalization in the developed world due to low-cost mobile technology, the cost-effective tele pharmacy solutions, and increasing penetration of diseases like heart diseases will remain key drivers of growth in the pharma e-commerce market.
Key Players in the Global Pharma E-commerce Market:
UK Meds Direct Ltd.
Walgreens Boots Alliance
SHOP APOTHEKE EUROPE
Euro Apotheke K. Talu eK
Zur Rose Suisse
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Pharma E-Commerce Market Report is Segmented as Follows:
- Prescription Medicine
- OTC (Over The Counter)},
- Direct Sales
- Distributors Online
- Rest of Europe
- South Korea
- Rest of Asia- Pacific,
- Rest of South America
- South Africa
Middle East & Africa
- Saudi Arabia
- Rest of Middle East & Africa
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