E-pharmacy Market By Drug class (OTC Drugs, and Prescription Drugs), and by Region - Global Industry Insights, and Forecast to 2025

  • Published On : Apr 2018 |
  • Pages : 182 Pages |
  • Format : CMI Insight PPT Format CMI Insight PDF Format

E-Pharmacy Market - Insights

E-pharmacy refers to online platforms that provide pharmacy products to consumers at their doorstep. Consumers have to order their requirement by mobile application or website, and the online pharmacy company delivers their products at the given address. E-pharmacy is also called as internet pharmacy or mail-order pharmacy. E-pharmacy companies provide both over-the-counter (OTC) dugs and prescription drugs. For ordering prescription drugs, one has to upload its prescription online. Increasing internet penetration has supported growth of E-pharmacy market in the recent past and is expected to witness high growth in the near future. For instance, according to the data published by The World Bank, around 34.3% of total population were using internet in China in 2010 which has increased to 53.2% in 2016. E-pharmacy market in developed economies such as North America and Europe is well developed, however, the market in emerging economies such as India is at nascent stage, and growing rapidly.

Increasing investment by private players and initiatives taken by governments is expected to drive growth of the global e-pharmacy market

Key players in the market are majorly investing to scale-up online pharmacy business, which is projected to drive growth of the global e-pharmacy market in the near future. For instance, in 2017, Zur Rose AG, a Switzerland-based online pharmacy company, invested US$ 237 million to expand its business in Germany. Furthermore, initiatives taken by government to establish well developed online infrastructure and provide high speed internet connection is driving growth of the market. For instance, in 2015, Indian government launched Digital India program with the motto 'Power to Empower'. Under this program, government aims to digitalize India by providing high-speed internet networks in rural areas. Such initiatives by Indian government is expected to positively affect the E-pharmacy market over the forecast period.

The global e-pharmacy market was valued at US$ 31.5 Bn in 2016 and is expected to witness a CAGR of 16.5% over the forecast period (2017–2025).

Figure 1. Global E-Pharmacy Market Share (%), By Region, 2017 & 2025

e-pharmacy market

Source: Coherent Market Insights Analysis (2018)

Increasing penetration of online pharmacy due to lucrative strategies deployed by key players

Offers and discounts on E-pharmacy channel is a major factor attracting consumers towards it. For instance, as on April 2018, 1mg, an E-pharmacy company in India, is providing a discount of 12% on over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. Free home delivery, and free returns are other two important and attractive features of E-pharmacy channel. Thus, evolution of E-pharmacy channel has resulted in availability of products at every doorstep and also, at significantly lower price. Moreover, increasing internet penetration across the globe has expanded the customer base for these E-Pharmacy companies. For instance, according to data published by World Bank, only 12.58% of total population were using internet in 2012 in India, which has increased to 29.5% in 2016. The growth rate of internet coverage is similar in developing economies such as China, Brazil, and Mexico.

Uncertain regulations

Selling of illegal drugs online is a major concern for regulatory bodies across the globe. Hence, various governments are working on formulating policies to regulate the E-pharmacy business. In U.S., Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has ruled that importing prescription drugs is illegal. All the online pharmacies that are supplying medication in the U.S. must be physically present in the U.S. Furthermore, all the online pharmacy companies need to be licensed at the state-level. However, it does not need require physical presence in state, it just needs to get licensed if it wants to deliver its products in a particular state. The Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO), the regulator for pharmaceuticals and medical devices in India, and the health ministry are also working on framing some policies to encouraged online pharmacy companies to sell quality medicines.

E-pharmacy companies have gained significant market share in urban, however, these companies have not been able to effectively target rural areas. Low literacy rate, lack of internet facilities, weak supply channel, and lack of awareness about these channels are the prime reasons for this scenario. Moreover, rural population still accounts for significant share in total population. According to the World Bank data, about 2 in 3 people in India, and 2 in 5 in China lives in rural area in 2016. High percentage of population living in rural areas with low or no access to online pharmacy has inhibited the growth of E-pharmacy market.

Key players operating in the E-Pharmacy Market includes The Kroger Co., The Walgreen Company, Express Scripts Holding Company, CVS Health, Zur Rose Group AG, Giant Eagle, Inc., Walmart Stores, Inc., OptumRx Inc., 1mg, and Netmeds.

E-pharmacy is also known as internet pharmacy, online pharmacy or mail-order pharmacy. E-pharmacy companies operates online and deliver their products to its customers through shipping chains. E-pharmacy platform provides all types of pharmaceutical drugs such as OTC drugs, prescription products, and personal care products to its customers. Customers only have to upload their prescriptions online for getting prescription drugs. However, sales of illegal drugs is a major problem in online pharmacies. However, governments and regulatory bodies are working on reducing it by making various rules and regulations. For instance, the U.S. food and Drug Administration (FDA) has prohibited the import of drugs in the U.S., and E-pharmacy companies who want to sell its products in the U.S. need to have their physical presence in the country. Furthermore, the company has to take state wise license to sell and deliver its products in respective state.

Market Dynamics

Increasing investment and funding in key region such as Asia Pacific and Europe to scale up and expand their online pharmacy business and this is expected to drive growth of the global E-pharmacy market in the near future. For instance, in 2017, Zur Rose AG, a Switzerland-based online pharmacy company raised US$ 237 million to expand its business in Germany. Furthermore, the increasing usage of internet is also expected to drive the growth of market. For instance, according to data published by the World Bank around 87.5% of total population of U.K. were using internet in 2012, which has increased to 94.8% in 2016. Strategies deployed by major E-pharmacy key players such as free delivery, and lucrative offers and discounts is also expected to increase the adoption of E-pharmacy by population. For instance, in April 2018, Netmeds, an India-based E-pharmacy startup, is providing 20% discounts offers on its medicines. Moreover, these kinds of discount are widely aiding in growth of the market. Increasing prevalence of lifestyle diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and obesity etc. is also expected to increase demand from products from E-pharmacy. For instance, according to data published by World Health Organization (WHO), globally, the number of people with diabetes increased from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014. According to WHO in 2017, cardiovascular diseases is the leading cause of death worldwide, about 17.7 million died from cardiovascular diseases in 2015.

Key features of the study:

  • This report provides in-depth analysis of E-pharmacy market and provides market size (US$ Million) and Cumulative Annual Growth Rate (CAGR %) for the forecast period (2017–2025), considering 2016 as the base year
  • It elucidates potential revenue opportunity across different segments and explains attractive investment proposition matrix for this market
  • This study also provides key insights about market drivers, restraints, opportunities, new product launches or approval, regional outlook, and competitive strategy adopted by leading players
  • It profiles leading players in the global E-pharmacy market based on the following parameters – company overview, financial performance, product portfolio, geographical presence, distribution strategies, key developments, and strategies, and future plans
  • Key companies covered as a part of this study include The Kroger Co., The Walgreen Company, Express Scripts Holding Company, CVS Health, Zur Rose Group AG, Giant Eagle, Inc., Walmart Stores, Inc., OptumRx Inc., 1mg, and Netmeds.
  • Insights from this report would allow marketers and the management authorities of the companies to make informed decision regarding their future product launches, technology up-gradation, market expansion, and marketing tactics
  • The global E-pharmacy market report caters to various stakeholders in this industry including investors, suppliers, product manufacturers, distributors, new entrants, and financial analysts
  • Stakeholders would have ease in decision-making through the various strategy matrices used in analyzing the E-pharmacy market

Detailed Segmentation:

  • Global E-Pharmacy Market, By Product Type:
    • OTC
    • Prescription
  • Global E-Pharmacy Market, By Geography:
    • North America
      • By Product Type:
        • OTC
        • Prescription
      • By Country:
        • U.S.
        • Canada
    • Europe
      • By Product Type:
        • OTC
        • Prescription
      • By Country:
        • U.K.
        • Germany
        • Italy
        • France
        • Spain
        • Russia
        • Rest of Europe
    • Asia Pacific
      • By Product Type:
        • OTC
        • Prescription
      • By Country:
        • China
        • India
        • Japan
        • ASEAN
        • Australia
        • South Korea
        • Rest of Asia Pacific
    • Latin America
      • By Product Type:
        • OTC
        • Prescription
      • By Country:
        • Brazil
        • Mexico
        • Argentina
        • Rest of Latin America
    • Middle East
      • By Product Type:
        • OTC
        • Prescription
      • By Country:
        • GCC
        • Israel
        • Rest of Middle East
    • Africa
      • By Product Type:
        • OTC
        • Prescription
      • By Country:
        • Central Africa
        • South Africa
        • North Africa
  • Company Profiles
    • The Kroger Co.*
      • Company Overview
      • Product Portfolio
      • Financial Performance
      • Key Strategies
      • Recent Developments
    • The Walgreen Company
    • Express Scripts Holding Company
    • CVS Health
    • Zur Rose Group AG
    • Giant Eagle, Inc.
    • Walmart Stores, Inc.
    • OptumRx Inc.
    • 1mg
    • Netmeds

“*” marked represents similar segmentation in other categories in the respective section.

Table of Contents

  1. Research Objective and Assumption
    • Research Objectives
    • Assumptions
    • Abbreviations
  2. Market Purview
    • Report Description
      • Market Definition and Scope
    • Executive Summary
      • Market Snippet, By Product Type
      • Market Snippet, By Region
    • Coherent Opportunity Map (COM)
  3. Market Dynamics, Regulations, and Trends Analysis
    • Market Dynamics
      • Drivers
      • Restraints
      • Market Opportunities
    • Regulatory Scenario
    • PEST Analysis
    • Comparative Price Analysis – online Vs. Retail
    • E-Pharmacy Startup
    • Key Developments
    • Collaboration-Acquisition
    • Porter’s Five Forces Analysis
  4. Global E-Pharmacy Market, By Product Type, 2015–2025 (US$ Bn)
    • Introduction
      • Market Share Analysis, 2016 and 2025 (%)
      • Y-o-Y Growth Analysis, 2016–2025
      • Segment Trends
    • OTC
      • Introduction
      • Market Size and Forecast, and Y-o-Y Growth, 2015–2025, (US$ Bn)
    • Prescription
      • Introduction
      • Market Size and Forecast, and Y-o-Y Growth, 2015–2025, (US$ Bn)
  5. Global E-Pharmacy Market, By Region, 2015–2025 (US$ Bn)
    • Introduction
      • Market Share Analysis, By Region, 2016 and 2025 (%)
      • Y-o-Y Growth Analysis, For Regions, 2016–2025
    • North America
      • Market Size and Forecast, By Product Type, 2015–2025 (US$ Bn)
      • Market Size and Forecast, By Country, 2015–2025 (US$ Bn)
        • U.S.
        • Canada
    • Europe
      • Market Size and Forecast, By Product Type, 2015–2025 (US$ Bn)
      • Market Size and Forecast, By Country, 2015–2025 (US$ Bn)
        • U.K.
        • Germany
        • Italy
        • France
        • Spain
        • Russia
        • Rest of Europe
    • Asia Pacific
      • Market Size and Forecast, By Product Type, 2015–2025 (US$ Bn)
      • Market Size and Forecast, By Country, 2015–2025 (US$ Bn)
        • China
        • India
        • Japan
        • ASEAN
        • Australia
        • South Korea
        • Rest of APAC
    • Latin America
      • Market Size and Forecast, By Product Type, 2015–2025 (US$ Bn)
      • Market Size and Forecast, By Country, 2015–2025 (US$ Bn)
        • Brazil
        • Mexico
        • Argentina
        • Rest of Latin America
    • Africa
      • Market Size and Forecast, By Product Type, 2015–2025 (US$ Bn)
      • Market Size and Forecast, By Country, 2015–2025 (US$ Bn)
        • Central Africa
        • South Africa
        • North Africa
    • Middle East
      • Market Size and Forecast, By Product Type, 2015–2025 (US$ Bn)
      • Market Size and Forecast, By Country, 2015–2025 (US$ Bn)
        • GCC
        • Israel
        • Rest of Middle East
  6. Competitive Landscape
    • Heat Map Analysis
    • Company Profiles
      • The Kroger Co.
        • Company Overview
        • Product Portfolio
        • Key Developments
        • Financial Performance
        • Strategies
      • The Walgreen Company
        • Company Overview
        • Product Portfolio
        • Key Developments
        • Financial Performance
        • Strategies
      • Express Scripts Holding Company
        • Company Overview
        • Product Portfolio
        • Key Developments
        • Financial Performance
        • Strategies
      • CVS Health
        • Company Overview
        • Product Portfolio
        • Key Developments
        • Financial Performance
        • Strategies
      • Zur Rose Group AG
        • Company Overview
        • Product Portfolio
        • Key Developments
        • Financial Performance
        • Strategies
      • Giant Eagle, Inc.
        • Company Overview
        • Product Portfolio
        • Key Developments
        • Financial Performance
        • Strategies
      • Walmart Stores, Inc.
        • Company Overview
        • Product Portfolio
        • Key Developments
        • Financial Performance
        • Strategies
      • OptumRx Inc.
        • Company Overview
        • Product Portfolio
        • Key Developments
        • Financial Performance
        • Strategies
      • 1mg
        • Company Overview
        • Product Portfolio
        • Key Developments
        • Financial Performance
        • Strategies
      • Netmeds
        • Company Overview
        • Product Portfolio
        • Key Developments
        • Financial Performance
        • Strategies
  7. Section
    • References
    • Research Methodology
    • About us and Sales Contact

*Browse 30 market data tables and 32 figures on “E-Pharmacy Market - Global forecast to 2025”.

Research Methodology

Coherent Market Insights followsa comprehensive research methodology focused on providing the most precise market analysis. The company leverages a data triangulation model which helps company to gauge the market dynamics and provide accurate estimates. Key components of the research methodologies followed for all our market reports include:

  • Primary Research (Trade Surveys and Experts Interviews)
  • Desk Research
  • Proprietor Data Analytics Model

In addition to this, Coherent Market Insights has access to a wide range of the regional and global reputed paid data bases, which helps the company to figure out the regional and global market trends and dynamics. The company analyses the industry from the 360 Degree Perspective i.e. from the Supply Side and Demand Side which enables us to provide granular details of the entire ecosystem for each study. Finally, a Top-Down approach and Bottom-Up approach is followed to arrive at ultimate research findings.


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Coherent Market Insights desk research is based on a principle set of research techniques:

  • National level desk research: It Includes research analysis of regional players, regional regulatory bodies, regional trade associations, and regional organization.
  • Multinational level desk research: The research team keeps a track of multinational players, global regulatory bodies, global trade associations, and global organization.

Coherent Market Insights has a large amount of in-house repository of industry database. This is leveraged as a burner for initiating a new research study. Key secondary sources include:

  • Governmental bodies, National and international social welfare institutions, and organizations creating economic policies among others.
  • Trade association, National and international media and trade press.
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Preliminary Data Mining

The raw data is obtained through the secondary findings, in house repositories, and trade surveys. It is then filtered to ensure that the relevant information including industry dynamics, trends, and outlook is retained for further research process.

Data Standardization:

Holistic approach is used to ensure that the granular and uncommon parameters are taken into consideration to ensure accurate results. The information from the paid databases are further combined to the raw data in order to standardize it.

Coherent Statistical model

We arrive at our final research findings through simulation models. Coherent Data Analytics Model is a statistical tool that helps company to forecast market estimates. Few of the parameters considered as a part of the statistical model include:

  • Micro-economic indicators
  • Macro-economic indicators
  • Environmental indicators
  • Socio-political indicators
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Data Processing

Once the findings are derived from the statistical model, large volume of data is process to confirm accurate research results. Data analytics and processing tools are adopted to process large chunk of collected informative data. In case, a client customizes the study during the process, the research finding till then are benchmarked, and the process for new research requirement is initiated again.

Data Validation

This is the most crucial stage of the research process. Primary Interviews are conducted to validate the data and analysis. This helps in achieving the following purposes:

  • It provides first-hand information on the market dynamics, outlook, and growth parameters.
  • Industry experts validates the estimates which helps the company to cement the on-going research study.
  • Primary research includes online surveys, face-to face interviews, and telephonic interviews.

The primary research is conducted with the ecosystem players including, but not limited to:

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