The global ePharmacy market size is expected to reach USD 169.3 billion by 2028 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 18.4% over the forecast period, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc. Factors driving the adoption of ePharmacy include the improved access to online & web-based services, increasing awareness regarding e-commerce amongst consumers, rise in the number of internet users, and a surge in the aging population experiencing difficulty to visit pharmacies. In addition, benefits, such as affordability, convenience, and ease in the availability of medicines, are boosting the adoption of these platforms. High treatment costs are driving the demand for low-cost healthcare services, which, in turn, is bolstering the adoption of online pharmacies owing to the lucrative offers, such as price discounts, provided by them.
The COVID-19 pandemic has positively impacted the market growth and transformed the fortunes of ePharma companies owing to increasing consumer switch from traditional buying towards online purchases of general medications and medical devices, such as oximeters, thermometers, and health supplements. As per an article published by Economic Times, in July 2021, the number of households utilizing ePharmacy services grew 2.5 times to 9.0 million during the pandemic. Thus, the ePharmacy segment has also gained significant growth during the lockdown period imposed due to the pandemic, as governments declared the delivery of medicines through e-commerce platforms as essential services.
North America accounted for the largest market share of over 41% in 2020. Rising adoption of e-commerce, growing geriatric population, increasing online sales, developed healthcare infrastructure, and positive attitude towards the adoption of new technologies are some of the major factors contributing to the regional market growth. The shifting trend towards the direct-to-patient model as the digital world has opened doors to consumer-friendly online experiences and other advanced services is further propelling the overall market growth in North America. The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the purchasing behavior of consumers, leading to more people than ever seeking medicines and other healthcare-related supplies through the ePharmacy platform.
Asia Pacific is anticipated to register the fastest CAGR during the forecast period. Emerging economies, such as China and India, possess high growth potential owing to the large population base coupled with increasing government initiatives supporting the adoption of digital technologies. With an increase in the number of strategic initiatives by various public and private organizations, the market in Asia Pacific is anticipated to grow at a faster pace in the coming years. For instance, in August 2020, Reliance Retail announced the acquisition of a 60.0% equity stake in Netmeds for USD 83.0 million. The acquisition is aimed at enhancing the company’s ability to offer affordable & high-quality health care products & services to its customers.
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