Market players of influence in the global ePharmacy market include Secure Medical, Inc, Rowlands Pharmacy, Lloyds Pharmacy Ltd.,Canada Drugs, drugstore.com Inc., Sanicare AB, Walgreen Co., eDrugstore.com, The Kroger Co., Optum Rx, Inc., DocMorris, PlanetRx, CVS Health, Giant Eagle, Inc., Medisave, Express Scripts Holding Company, and Walmart Stores, Inc among others.
ePharmacies have grown significantly with the emergence of eCommerce. Market Research Future’s report on the global ePharmacy market records several pertinent factors along with key facts and figures of the market. Promising growth is expected during the forecast period. Increasingly, the internet has become a large marketplace where one can source anything. Medical items and pharmaceuticals bought online via ePharmacies primarily cater to making acquiring medicines as convenient as possible.
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The penetration of smartphones has greatly increased internet usage. Internet plans are widely and cheaply available worldwide, making ordering medicines very easy. Increasingly, people from every walk of life have easier access to web-based or online services, thus limiting the outreach for ePharmacies only by geography. Convenience and ease of affordability are two key factors driving the growth of the global ePharmacy market. Medicated skin creams and other items commonly available in pharmacies which are associated with health but available OTC can also be purchased on ePharmacies creating a one-stop shopping experience of a pharmacy online. Increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, as well as the common cold, has increased demand for pharmaceuticals. However, the high cost of treatments and doctors visit for pharmaceuticals have increased the demand for online pharmacies as they offer discounts and overall cost efficiency. Another factor of note is the global increase in the geriatric population. Aged individuals with health problems may find it difficult to move around and can avail the convenience of ePharmacies, thus driving the growth of the market.
The potential for ePharmacies is currently high, and the market is witnessing the entry of many new players looking to leverage the high demand for healthcare and pharmaceutical products. However, it should be noted that the presence of illegal pharmacies which sell prescription drugs over the counter or counterfeit drugs are expected to hamper market growth as consumers are often skeptical about buying from unverified sources. Opportunities for the market are expected to be found primarily in emerging economies due to the rising number of government initiatives which are expected to encourage market growth.
The global ePharmacy market is segmented on the basis of drug type, product type, and region. Drug types available via ePharmacies include prescription drugs, and over the counter (OTC) drugs. Product types available in ePharmacies have been segmented into dental, skin care, vitamins, cold & flu, weight loss, and others.
The global division of the market segments regions into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa.
North America and Europe are significant markets with well-developed healthcare infrastructure and strong network speeds which are highly supportive of the growth of the global ePharmacy market. A high concentration of leading market players can be found in North America. While Europe has highly supportive healthcare policies to improve healthcare infrastructure. Moreover, these regions have a high geriatric population which is leveraging the availability of convenient and affordable pharmaceuticals for their healthcare needs.
Meanwhile, the Asia Pacific (APAC) and Latin America are rapidly emerging economies with high promise expected in the former region. The APAC is a region which is undergoing massive economic changes and attracting several international players due to the potential present in the region. Emerging economies such as India and China are country level markets to look out for. These countries have some of the highest populations in the world and a rapidly changing healthcare sector. Increasing penetration of smartphones in urban as well as rural areas along with internet connectivity will likely lead to a significant increase in demand for ePharmacies in the coming years.
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