Indian e-Pharmacies experiencing usage spike amid a deadly wave of Covid-19

online pharmacy

The Indian e-pharmacy sector is booming amid the Country’s worst possible healthcare catastrophe. As India is reporting over 240 cases per minute, there is a wide gap between the need for medical support and the availability of the same. At this hard time, e-pharmacies are becoming a seamless solution to source various medicines.

The e-pharma startups have seen a massive hike in their usage stats and orders as people started looking for medicines, doctor consultations and oxygen supplies from every possible source. 

One of the Indian e-pharma majors, Practo reported the highest growth of 200% since April 1, 2021. Meanwhile, MedPlus posted a growth of 190%. Other players like 1mg, PharmEasy, Medlife(Merged with PharmEasy) and others are experiencing a spike of 120% in usage, says the research firm KalaGato.

The research firm further posted a 70-80% spike for Reliance Retail’s Netmeds for the same period(Since April 1, 2021). Netmeds is testing its hyperlocal medicine delivery in Bangalore. Tech & E-Commerce giant, Amazon has also made its entry into the Indian online medicine delivery with Amazon Pharmacy, which is currently running in Bangalore. Soon, Amazon Pharmacy will expand to pan-India.

According to 1mg, which is one of the e-pharma majors in India, medicines like Fabilflu and Doxze saw a massive increase by 40X and above. Other Covid-19 related products on the platform have experienced a 5X growth. These stats were in comparison to March 2021 on the platform.

1mg has partnered with more than 600 corporates and is now looking forward to partner with societies, apartment communities and a network of local clinics to deep drive its operations into people and provide vaccinations. Meanwhile, Practo has seen interests from 500 corporates for the first phase of ‘Corporate Suraksha’, the vaccination programme launched by Practo on May 3. It plans to vaccinate around 10 million people. Prosus-backed Unicorn, Pharmeasy also mentioned its association with several corporates, welfare associations and healthcare providers to vaccinate close to 30 million people.

According to EY’s estimates, India’s online pharmacy sector will reach a whopping $2.7 billion by 2023, from $360 million in 2019. The sector has grown by 3X in the last two years and is currently experiencing a 35% increase in year-on-year revenue. 

Due to the unclear plans of the government, Many private companies such as Apollo, Portea Medical, Medlife and Netmeds are still waiting to be part of the private vaccination drive based on their e-pharma models. While, some of them have already announced private vaccination drives of their own, which is bound to accelerate their growth.

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