The digital pharmacy market is projected to reach USD 211.9 billion by 2027 from USD 96.5 billion in 2022, at a CAGR of 17.0% during the forecast period. The growth of this market is driven by the increasing consumer preference toward buying online medicines during and post the COVID-19 pandemic, consolidation in the market and partnerships, and the growing geriatric population.
However, patients relying on pharmacists for clinical support and a growing number of illegal pharmacies are expected to restrain the growth of this market during the forecast period.
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Browse in-depth TOC on "Digital Pharmacy Market”
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Key Market Player
Prominent players in this market are CVS Health (US), Cigna (US), Optum, Inc. (Part of the UnitedHealth Group) (US), Walgreens Co. (US), Walmart Inc. (US), The Kroger Co. (US), Amazon.com, Inc. (US), GoodRx (US), Costco Wholesale Corporation (US), Rite Aid Corp. (US), Hims & Hers Health, Inc. (US), PharmEasy (India), Apollo Pharmacy (India), DocMorris (Netherlands), Giant Eagle Inc. (US), LloydsPharmacy (UK), Shop-apotheke.com (Netherlands), Tata 1mg (India), Netmeds.com (India), HealthWarehouse, Inc. (US), Pharmex Direct Inc. (Canada), Apex Pharmacy (UK), TELUS (Canada), RO Pharmacy (US), Rx Outreach (US), The Independent Pharmacy (UK), Rexall Pharmacy Group ULC (Canada), and NorthWestPharmacy.com (Canada). These players are increasingly focusing on product/service upgrades, acquisitions, partnerships, agreements, expansions, and collaborations to expand their product offerings in the digital pharmacy market.
Digital Pharmacy Market Dynamics
Driver: How growth of consumer preference towards buying online medicines increased during and the post COVID-19 ?
COVID-19 is one of the leading social and health challenges of our time. The ongoing pandemic has forced a drastic transformation of life at every level of society. The high infection rate of COVID-19 led to an increased demand for medication in hospitals and home care settings. COVID-19 has changed the way in which businesses are conducted. Consumer attitudes, behaviors, and purchasing habits have all changed and many of these new patterns will remain post-pandemic. Nationwide lockdowns during the pandemic forced people to stay indoors. This pushed people to switch to online channels for the purchase of goods & services as well as to pay bills and consult with doctors. According to the FICCI 2020 report, more than 75% of all consumers cited that their online pharmacy purchases either increased or remained the same. This changing consumer behavior is expected to drive the market for digital pharmacy solutions in the coming years.
Restraint: How is growing illegal pharmacies restraining growth of the market?
Illegal internet pharmacies are often international operations with servers, shipping operations, and other parts of the business located in several countries. The WHO emphasizes that substandard and falsified products may result in patient harm and suboptimal treatment, leading to an overall mistrust of medications, healthcare providers, and the health system. In 2021, the FDA issued warning letters to website operators engaged in illegal activity in violation of the US Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Consumers seeking overseas options to obtain medicines also pose a threat to the pharmaceutical industry and pharmacists of the respective country. Such illegal buying behaviors can result in the loss of credibility and faith in online medicine and may hinder the greater adoption of digital pharmacy solutions globally
Challenge: Why is lack of strong national laws worldwide a critical challenging factor that is holding back growth of market?
According to the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering 2019, 66% of countries worldwide do not have laws that explicitly regulate or prohibit the online sales of medicinal products. As a result, regulatory authorities in these countries are only able to employ the “buyers beware” approach so that consumers remain vigilant when buying medicinal products online. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) estimated that there are more than 80,000 websites that allow individuals to place medication orders through illegal pharmacies. Customers choose to utilize online pharmacies over traditional brick-and-mortar pharmacies for a variety of reasons, including accessibility, time constraints, and potential cost savings. In Nigeria, the body responsible for licensing pharmacies, the Pharmacy Council of Nigeria, has developed rules to guide the regulatory process for e-pharmacies in 2016, but they have not yet been made public. Until an international legal framework is formed and agreed upon, illegal pharmacies will continue to expand and inappropriately dispense medications to consumers. This may hinder the growth of the digital pharmacy market in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs).
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“Over-the-counter (OTC) products segment is expected to grow at the highest rate during the forecast period”
Based on drug type, the digital pharmacy market is segmented into prescription medicines and over-the-counter products. Prescription medicines accounted for the largest share of the global digital pharmacy market in 2021. The large share of this market segment can be attributed to the growing prevalence of several chronic disorders and the subsequent increase in the demand for medications.
On the other hand, the over-the-counter (OTC) products segment is estimated to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. Growth in this market segment is largely driven by the widespread availability and cost-effectiveness of OTC products and the growing trend of self-medication.
“The Medicines & Treatments segment is estimated to account for the largest share of the Digital Pharmacy market in 2021”
Based on products, the digital pharmacy market is segmented into medicines & treatments, personal care products, vitamins & supplements, and other products. The medicines & treatments segment accounted for the largest share of the global digital pharmacy market in 2021.
However, the vitamins & supplements segment is estimated to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period due to the high prevalence of chronic diseases and the availability of multiple product options.
“Apps segment in the platform accounted for the largest share of the global digital pharmacy market”
Based on platforms, the digital pharmacy market is segmented into apps and websites. In 2021, apps accounted for the largest share of the global digital pharmacy market. The large share of this segment can be attributed as the apps offering lucrative promos or discounts to attract customers. The websites platform is expected to grow at the second-highest CAGR during the forecast period due to convenience, privacy, and safety offered by websites are key factors driving the market growth.
“Captive segment among the business model accounted for the largest share of the global digital pharmacy market”
Based on business models, the digital pharmacy market is segmented into captive, franchise, and aggregator business models. In 2021, the captive business model accounted for the largest share of the global digital pharmacy market. The captive business model is also expected to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The flexibility, accessibility, and affordability of captive business models are key contributors to segmental growth in the digital pharmacy market. The aggregator business model is expected to grow at the second-highest CAGR during the forecast period.
“North America to dominate the digital pharmacy market in 2022”.
North America accounted for the largest share of the digital pharmacy market. The increasing prevalence of chronic conditions, the rising number of drug prescriptions resulting from the rapidly growing aging population, and the presence of key market players in the region are the key factors driving the growth of the digital pharmacy market in North America.
- To define, describe, segment, analyze, and forecast the digital pharmacy market based on drug type, product, platform, business model, geographic coverage, and region
- To provide detailed information regarding the drivers, restraints, opportunities, challenges, and industry trends influencing the growth of the digital pharmacy market
- To strategically analyze micromarkets with respect to individual growth trends, prospects, and contributions to the overall market
- To analyze the opportunities in the digital pharmacy for stakeholders and provide details of the competitive landscape for market leaders
- To forecast the size of the global digital pharmacy market with respect to five main regions (along with countries)& North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa
- To strategically profile the key players in this market and comprehensively analyze their market shares and core competencies
- To track and analyze competitive developments such as product/service upgrades, acquisitions, partnerships, agreements, expansions, and collaborations in the digital pharmacy market during the forecast period
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