In 2020, e-commerce is more important than ever, and the French pharmacy business doesn’t constitute an exception. During the lockdown, e-commerce increased by 39% in France, all sectors including pharmacy combined. Also, an increase of 63% in the online consumption of drugstore and pharmacy products is interesting. The lockdown changed people’s way of consuming. Among new e-shopping consumers, half of them will continue to buy online.
To manufacture more generic drugs, large pharmaceuticals invest in R&D. Therefore there will be more products for everyone. Whether this is a good thing or not is a separate debate, but it will definitely lead to the need for storing information about drugs in structured databases. A big data challenge.
In some countries, buying medicine online with a prescription is not a problem. Unfortunately, in France, it is legally impossible. However, as people are getting older, they need more medical attention and repeat medication, also in France. For example, in North America, Japan, and China with its “one-child policy”, the demographics have shifted dramatically. And subsequently, these pharmaceutical markets have been booming.
The above graphic shows that the age group between 40 and 60 years is relatively increasing. In several years’ time, there will be even more old people because we live longer. But not necessarily with better health. Thus, for old people who have treatments and prescriptions, but cannot move independently, ordering online is the most efficient solution.
However, buying medicine online can be dangerous. Counterfeit or contaminated products are one of the biggest issues medical consumers face when shopping online. A controlled database with manufacturers, brands, their drugs, their side effects, might be a handy tool to provide transparency to the consumer. When only verified drugstores have access to the official product datasheets it’s easier for consumers to distinguish reliable retailers.
Sources: – Insee, URL: https://www.insee.fr/fr/statistiques/1381053– Journal du Net, URL: https://www.journaldunet.com/economie/sante/1493955-crise-sanitaire-et-e-commerce-une-transformation-digitale-plus-que-necessaire-pour-les-pharmacies/
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