The rise of E-pharmacy in India

The global pandemic prompted several companies to switch to the e-commerce market. One such industry that made a significant shift to the online market was the pharmaceutical industry of India. However, the e-pharmacy stores are not a new phenomenon in India. In fact, in 2015, 11 startup e-pharmacy drug stores were set including big names such as Medlife, PharmEasy, and 1MG. It is notable that in the last 3-5 years, there has been a surge in online pharmacies leading to the rise of “E-pharmacy.” 

What is the current market scenario of E-pharmacies in India?

The industry rose to popularity due to several entrepreneurs and startups who entered the market during and post-pandemic. The goal of these e-pharmacies mainly centered around the delivery of accessible healthcare to the citizens of India. Most importantly, these companies focused on providing affordable healthcare products such as medicines and healthcare supplies within their reach. 

How E-pharmacies are giving competition to offline stores?

The rise of e-pharmacies in India poses competition to offline stores on several parameters. With the ease of use of doorstep delivery facilities, e-pharmacies are more accessible than offline stores. The offline stores require the person to physically reach the location of the pharmacy to purchase medicines. 

In terms of pricing as well, the online pharmacy offers better rates with added discounts. In contrast, medicines at offline pharmacy stores are sold at MRP prices. In terms of growth as well, offline retail stores have reached a stagnant stage. This is because of the highly fragmented nature of the retail pharmacy industry in India. Whereas, E-Pharmacy in India is still at its nascent stage. It can further develop to provide additional value-added services such as e-consultation, diagnostic, and medical insurance services.

E-pharmacies have integrated several retail pharmacies on one single platform. This allows them to sell a wide range of medicines and healthcare supplies through their website or application. Whereas, the offline stores sometimes face challenges related to limited stock or unavailability of certain medicines. 

What are the benefits of e-pharmacy?

Apart from being pocket-friendly, one of the benefits of e-pharmacy stores is that they are available in pan-India covering both urban and rural areas. This is a major achievement for the pharmacy industry where accessibility of medicines and other medical necessities posed major challenges. 

What are the driving factors of the E-pharmacy growth in India?

The key drivers behind the E-pharmacy sector’s growth in India are as follows:

  • High internet penetration in both urban and rural India.
  • The transformational digital India initiative.
  • Extensive government support to make healthcare affordable and accessible
  • Pandemic outbreak and rising need for medicines and healthcare supplies at doorstep.

What are the challenges of e-pharmacy in India?

One of the challenges of e-pharmacy is the risk of confidentiality and data security. While purchasing medicines at offline stores, customers do not have to necessarily share their personal information other than the doctor’s prescription. There is no exchange of confidential information for over-the-counter medicines as well. However, this becomes a challenge for the e-pharmacy platforms. This is because the patient might have to disclose personal and identifying information such as their contact number, address, medical history, etc. 

Other challenges of e-pharmacy in India include:

  • Lack of a regulatory framework
  • Lack of bar-coding system
  • Patient identity at risk
  • Lack of cold logistics systems in India
  • Oppositions and lack of support from offline stores
  • Risk of drug abuse
  • Other legal issues

PharmEasy: The emergence of E-Pharmacy market leader

Out of the various e-pharmacy startups that were set up in India pre-pandemic and post-pandemic, PharmEasy has emerged as an undisputed market leader. Launched in 2015, this online platform is working relentlessly towards providing trusted healthcare products and services. Today, the company successfully plays its role in mediating between a customer and a local pharmacy to make access to medicines and healthcare needs quick, easy, and affordable. 

The company also stands out from its competitors due to its customer-centric approach. By partnering with several offline pharmacies, it doesn’t compete but rather collaborates. The reason, PharmEasy is capable of offering high discounts while being profitable is due to its advertising-focused revenue model. 

Interested in buying PharmEasy shares?

PharmEasy is making big waves in India’s mobile health solutions market. As a top online pharmacy, it’s a trustworthy choice. Considering investing in PharmEasy shares? With the current scenario, you can gain from investing at the pharmeasy share price move to diversify your investment portfolio. 

PharmEasy unlisted shares are not available directly in the market; thus, you must connect with the brokers to buy unlisted shares in India. You can book unlisted shares like PharmEasy with a reliable broker like Stockify. We are India’s trusted brokers for investment in unlisted shares. Connect to know more.

Table of Contents

While the concept of e-pharmacy is not entirely new in India, the past few years have witnessed a surge in the number of startups venturing into this space, including prominent names with PharmEasy emerging as a market leader. The rise of E-pharmacy in India is giving tough competition to offline stores.


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