The global telepharmacy market was valued at USD 7,560.12 million in 2019 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 32.48% during the forecast period. The growth of this market is mainly due to the expanding internet penetration, need to cut down un-necessary hospital visits, and the government provisions towards medical care to the remotest places has fueled the demand for online healthcare services, including telepharmacy.
The worldwide internet penetration grew to nearly 4.8 billion internet users by June 30, 2020, depicting approximately 62% of the total population across the globe. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the governments to implement complete lockdowns all through their respective nations to prevent the spread of this highly contagious corona virus. Governments across various countries throughout the globe are increasingly spreading the word “social-distancing” that has encouraged the public to proactively adopt online healthcare services that’s expected to boost the market growth.
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Moreover, there are several major benefits linked to telepharmacy including, simpler access of basic pharmacy services, highly effective counseling of patients and convenient access of health services all through the remote locations including, rural areas where people usually do not have access to healthcare services. The lack of timely access to healthcare services usually results in declining health conditions of people in remote areas that lead to higher mortality rate among the individuals. Hence, telepharmacy can be considered as a boon to people residing in the remote locations across the globe.
The exploding prevalence of COVID-19 cases worldwide is the primary growth driver for global market. COVID-19 is a highly contagious disease capable of surviving in the air for several hours. Coronavirus impacts the respiratory system of humans resulting in problems such as breathing issues, poor appetite, high fever, apart from others. According to Worldometer, in August 2020 release, there are approximately 23 million COVID-19 cases worldwide. Hence, notable occurrence of COVID-19 cases globally is expected to drive the demand for telepharmacy looking at the highly contagious nature of the disease, thereby, driving the global market growth.
Moreover, the growing number of internet users and rising internet penetration is also boosting the market growth. For instance, according to the Miniwatts Marketing Group internet world statistics July 2020 publication, there are an estimated 4.83 billion internet users globally as of June 30, 2020, representing 62% of penetration rate. Thus, substantial internet penetration worldwide coupled with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is expected to fuel the demand for telepharmacy services thereby, boosting the global market growth.
The market is primarily segmented on the basis of Services, By End-Use, and by geographic region.
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Based upon services, the global market is categorized into pharmacy consultation and remote order entry. Pharmacy consultation segment held the largest share in the global market in 2019, owing to the rising preference of people to consult with a pharmacist online for any kind of assistance related to the medicines.
Remote order entry which is also referred to as in-patient telepharmacy involves a pharmacist who is at any remote location and perform the remote order entry services across the in-patient pharmacy located at the hospital. In general, the pharmacists located remotely initially, review the medical supply orders prior to the healthcare staff administering the medicines to patients.
On the basis of end-use, the global market is categorized into primary care centers, hospitals and others. Hospitals end-use segment is expected to dominate the global market mainly due to several key benefits of telepharmacy such as remote consultation with busy pharmacists at the hospitals and consultation with any pharmacists in case of rural areas where there’s unavailability of pharmacists.
Additionally, amid COVID-19 pandemic worldwide there’s large number of people who are visiting hospitals and several people are admitted to the hospitals taking medication for COVID-19. Thus, there’s huge demand for telepharmacy in the hospitals across the globe to minimize the crowding at pharmacies in the hospitals. This would also control COVID-19 pandemic as people would consult the pharmacist online through telepharmacy without any need to visit the pharmacies at the hospitals.
Geographically, North America dominates the global telepharmacy market in terms of market share which is followed by Europe and Asia-Pacific regions. North American region is primarily driven by growing infrastructure investment leading to technological advancement in healthcare infrastructure. Other major reasons include, rising doctor’s fees, rising internet penetration in the U.S. and Canada coupled with growing disposable income encouraging people to adopt telepharmacy solutions.
The growth in the European region is primarily attributed to the rising adoption of mobile telecommunication devices such as smartphones, use of internet of things (IoT) and key technology innovations including, artificial intelligence (AI). Some of the major countries that are witnessing superior growth in telepharmacy market across Europe include, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Russia, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Turkey, apart from others.
In Europe, the pharmacy consultation service is highly used telepharmacy service being deployed by the healthcare providers to boost the access of physician’s important medical advices. Telemonitoring segment in the European market is expected to escalate mainly due to the rising population suffering from disability and diabetes. The European Union (EU) has started to extensively deploy telepharmacy in order to enhance healthcare access among people. United Kingdom is the leading market for telepharmacy within the EU mainly due to a large population which is privately insured.
Asia-Pacific region is projected to grow the fastest in the global market mainly due to the rising awareness among the patients, growing smartphone penetration and rising healthcare investments to boost healthcare infrastructure in the region. Some of the key countries that are witnessing increasing smartphone penetration include, China, India, Japan and South Korea. For instance, according to the Economic Times July 2020 report, the smartphone penetration across rural areas in India has grown from about 9% in 2015 to nearly 25% in 2018. Moreover, the smartphone user base in India is projected to reach approximately 820 million over the forthcoming two years. Hence, growing smartphone penetration in the region is expected to drive the adoption of telepharmacy services across Asia-Pacific region.
Key players operating in the global market are focusing on product innovation and development to increase their market share. Additionally, other key market players have adopted acquisition strategy to inorganically increase their geographical presence. Moreover, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has created significant growth opportunity for the telepharmacy companies to capture the market while gaining extensive competitive advantage.
Some of the major players operating in the global market include Medication Review, Inc., North West TelePharmacy Solutions, McKesson Ventures, Pipeline Health Holdings, Mitsui & Co., Inc., MedTel Services, TelePharm, LLC, One Touch Telehealth, Comprehensive Pharmacy Services, Inc., AMN Healthcare, and Telepharmacy Solutions, Inc.