Business Standard

Boom and the race to tap e-pharmacy sector in India in pics: Things to know

Online pharmacy segment has significant traction amid the Covid-19 pandemic

medicines, pharmacy, pharma industry

Overall volume growth stood at 4.8 per cent, while new introductions accounted for 2.4 per cent growth

BS Web Team New Delhi
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Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd has acquired a majority equity stake in Netmeds for a cash consideration of around Rs 620 crore.

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Last week, Amazon India had announced the launch of Amazon Pharmacy, wherein it will deliver prescription-based medication in partnership with a seller on the platform. The service is being launched in Bengaluru initially and may be scaled up to other cities in the future.

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There are also reports that Flipkart may also venture into the segment, though the Walmart-owned company has not announced any plans yet.

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E-health companies Medlife and PharmEasy have agreed for a merger, according to the filings submitted by the companies to the Competition Commission of India (CCI). The proposed combination relates to the acquisition of 100 per cent equity shares of Medlife by API Holdings, the parent of PharmEasy, in return for 19.59 per cent equity share capital, according to the CCI filing.

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Healthtech start-ups like 1mg, PharmEasy, and Medlife have seen strong growth in the past few months as people turned to online platforms to order their medicines while maintaining social distancing amid the pandemic. The online pharmacy market, which was worth about $512 million in 2018, according to Frost and Sullivan, is growing at a CAGR of 63 per cent and is expected to hit overall revenues of over $3.6 billion by 2022.

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The online medicine market is currently small at 3-3.5 per cent of the total pharma market as existing players do not offer express delivery options and delivery of medicine typically takes 24-48 hours. This limits the market largely to refill prescriptions or for chronic medicines for the new prescriptions, according to industry watchers.

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First Published: Aug 20 2020 | 10:03 AM IST

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