The total addressable medicine market for e-pharmacies in India is likely to reach USD 18.1 billion by 2023, driven by increasing internet penetration through smartphones, healthcare spend and rise in chronic diseases, according to a report. As per the report 'E-pharma: Delivering Healthier Outcomes' by consultancy firm EY, the addressable medicine market for e-pharmacies in the country stands currently at USD 9.3 bn and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 18.1%.
The key growth drivers for e-pharma market in India are increasing internet penetration and smartphone ownership along with the ease of ordering medications through an e-commerce platform, it said.
Besides, the increase in chronic diseases, rising per capita income and resultant healthcare spend will also aid to its growth.
Commenting on the findings, EY India Partner and National Leader - E-Commerce and Consumer Internet Ankur Pahwa said, "Today, India is adapting to e-commerce rapidly with mobile-first consumer behaviour and improving digital payments infrastructure, and online pharmacies, one of the verticals of e-commerce, are starting to gain momentum and have tremendous growth potential".
The e-pharmacy market is expected to grow at a substantial pace in the next four years on the back of the renewed focus of the government and households on healthcare spending and the faster adoption of internet amongst users, he added.
According to EY, at present 35% of domestic pharmaceutical market relates to chronic medications and the remaining 65% to acute medicines.
"Out of this, e-pharmacies are expected to target 85% of the chronic market and 40% of the acute medicine market by 2023 (up from 25% in 2019)," the report said.