ePharmacy is intermediate between consumer and seller for selling medicine. It is an online platform also called as Internet pharmacy and mail order pharmacy. For patients ePharmacy has become a convenient option because they do not need to be physically present at a store to buy required medicines.
ePharmacy market trend is estimated to experience an exponential growing CAGR in the upcoming years due to the increasing investment of e-commerce giants in the field of healthcare. For instance, in June 2018, Amazon Inc., announced the company plan to acquire ePharmacy company PillPack Inc., for approximately USD 753 million.
Global ePharmacy Market is valued at USD 34.84 Billion in 2018 and expected to reach USD 102.75 Billion by 2025 with the CAGR of 15.34% over the forecast period.
The growing scope of e-commerce has made it easy for e-pharmacy to capture a large customer base in both developed and developing countries of the world. This generation relies heavily on the online supply of products such as cosmetics and medicines without a permission. There are various start-ups around the world due to the advent of new information technologies and algorithms that provide a better customer satisfaction in the market.
The increasing pace of innovation is one of the major ePharmacy Industry Trends in 2020 –
Advancements in healthcare technology continue to drive innovation in retail and ambulatory pharmacy. New health information technology (HIT) and the increasing awareness and use of robotic dispensing systems have made pharmacy operations faster and more efficient, while at the same time improving patient safety. Tech innovations have also led to more efficient and coordinated workflows, which are aiding pharmacies optimize operations throughout their entire drug delivery cycle.
Increasing on boarding of tech solutions are allowing pharmacies to offset mounting economic realities, which continue to shrink profit margins across all pharmacy sectors. Automation solutions, which include everything from robotic systems to combined workflow and pharmacy software, are enabling pharmacies to re-prioritize resources. This allows them to expand value-added offerings such as telepharmacy services, long-term care, and mail order, as well as recover efficacies based on centralized service models.
Patient expectations: personalized, one-on-one care (ePharmacy Industry Trends 2020)–
One of the major benefits of the proliferation of robotic dispensing solutions in pharmacies is that it has autonomous pharmacists and pharmacy staff from some of the more repetitive tasks traditionally assigned to them, permitting them to spend more time interacting with patients as a contributing member of their comprehensive healthcare team. Moreover, a continuing shortage of primary care providers is expected to continue, making investing in automated systems even more important heading into the next several years. As a consequence, it will continue to be important for pharmacies to embrace these changes in order to position themselves competitively and meet the evolving demands of patients. Operational flexibility and willingness to evolve to meet these challenges should be key components of any pharmacy’s strategy.
Demographic and legislative shifts –
America’s population continues to age. With this truth has come an increase in Medicare beneficiaries, as of 2017, there were more than 42 million beneficiaries registered in Medicare and having the capability to service them is a priority, now, more than ever. This growth has overlapped with a large increase in Medicare Part D plans that are included as part of a preferred pharmacy network. The result is that it has become essential for pharmacies to be able to contribute in these preferred networks.
In order to undertake this, pharmacies are having to adhere to a stricter set of performance metrics, per the criteria to participate measured by the star ratings system. This rating system is designed to judge a plan’s quality and performance for the services offered and high scores allows pharmacies to participate in these coveted preferred network plans. Demographic and legislative shifts is one of the major changes and accounted as ePharmacy Industry Trends 2020
E-commerce will make drug prices more transparent and market-oriented –
With the hospital terminal presently dominating pharmaceutical sales, pharmaceutical producers basically have no autonomous distribution channels. The existing model of complex links has reduced circulation efficiency, making drug prices artificially high, and rebates and commissions the norm. Additionally, the model has amplified pharmaceutical companies’ selling costs, while the policy of markup percentage control has further indorsed hospitals’ preference for high-priced drugs. Pharmaceutical e-commerce is expected to drive the compression of intermediate links, making drug selection more clear and market-oriented, with prices depending on the drug and user demands. The influence of e-commerce platforms on specific pharmaceutical companies may differ. Firstly, for generic pharmaceutical manufacturers, patients may use internet platforms to identify and choose the most cost-effective drugs. In this case, e-commerce may enable those pharmaceutical enterprises with a historically weak sales force to expand their market shares. Secondly, newly-added internet channels will enable large pharmaceutical enterprises to improve flow liquidity. The ability to push up sales for exclusive drug varieties will be the key to allowing an enterprise to retain its price advantages. ePharmacy Industry Trends 2020 cover depth analysis of above trends in the final report.
Third party platforms should attract consumers –
A third-party e-commerce stage, particularly one functioned by an internet giant, may use a supporting strategy to create site traffic and build scale. The advantage of this model is that pharmaceutical producers will require minute investments in human and material resources to set up the platform. Since, a third-party platform is categorized by low cost and high data transparency, it is easier to gain consumer trust; pharmaceutical producers need only focus on marketing and order fulfillment; other functioning details may be handed over to the third party. Additionally, since the e-commerce platform usually does not exploit medical resources or engage in widespread customer cultivation, offline pharmaceutical producers may cooperate with the platform to supplement their resources. For instance, in June 2018, Amazon Inc., announced the company plan to acquire ePharmacy company PillPack Inc., for approximately USD 753 million.
O2O has offline and online benefits –
Some consumers’ medicine needs cannot be fully satisfied through the Internet. Online customers with specialized medication requirements will need to be directed to retail stores for professional pharmaceutical services. An O2O (Online to Offline) model can combine offline and online sales opportunities and capabilities: the online pharmacy can become the front door to offline sales by driving appropriate customers to the physical retail store and resolve the “final mile” problem by enabling the online pharmacy to help fulfill the potential of physical drugstores. For offline enterprises, the O2O model can support online users and offline commodity services, and capture customer behaviors, enabling the participating enterprises to make decisions quickly. It is anticipated that, in the future, the third-party and proprietary trading platforms will join this market, increasing competition.
Online medical enterprises –
The rapid rise of online medical enterprises will generate another source of medical data. Whether they are pharmaceutical e-commerce or online medical service providers, these enterprises will accumulate extensive medication and health data, providing rich content to big data applications. In the meantime, online medical enterprises will remain the main force behind big data application, particularly when hospital doctors are extremely dominant in the system. In these cases, the provision of packaged service for pharmaceutical producers’ R&D-marketing, medical insurance enterprises, and other organizations that use data analysis is expected to be quite profitable.
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