e-Pharmacy has potential to hit 20%-30% of pharma market share in Malaysia, says Alpro
By Alpro Pharmacy
December 25, 2021
KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 25): The digital prescription pharmaceutical business (e-pharmacy) has big potential in Malaysia and may garner as much as a 20%-30% market share.
In an e-mail interview, Alpro Pharmacy co-founder and e-pharmacy pharmacist lead Dr Hiew Fei Tsong informed theedgemarkets.com that in Malaysia, there are near 25,000 registered pharmacists and three,000 registered retail pharmacies as of this yr.
He mentioned they contribute about RM8 billion income every year.
“Most of those retail pharmacies are working in a brick-and-mortar mannequin, with only some offering e-pharmacy options.
“Most power illness sufferers at the moment are refilling their medicine at both authorities services or retail pharmacies,” he mentioned.
Hiew added that with the rising reputation of e-commerce, coupled with the motion management order (MCO) as a result of Covid-19 pandemic, there was larger demand for e-pharmacy up to now two years.
He mentioned the e-pharmacy section contributes greater than 5% of Alpro’s whole income, including that after the lifting of the MCO, there was nonetheless regular development within the section.
“Our e-pharmacy customers may be categorised into three demographics — city metropolis dwellers, the suburban aged and worldwide clients,” he mentioned.
Nonetheless, Hiew flagged that in Malaysia, the adoption price of e-pharmacy options continues to be low.
Among the many causes he highlighted for this are that customers are uncertain of the authenticity of medicine bought on-line as the method could possibly be “too simple” to get medicine in addition to shoppers not being totally conscious of advantages of e-pharmacy, particularly for value-added providers.
One other main impediment is the challenges that come up in relation to the know-how concerned as most pharmacies have inadequate data and funding.
Hiew additionally identified that the adoption price amongst pharmacies relies on medicine supply turnaround time.
He defined that medicine is temperature-sensitive and finest delivered inside two hours to keep up the efficacy (until it’s protected in a temperature management field).
“Most unbiased pharmacies have presence solely in a single or two places, thus limiting their protection,” he mentioned.
He added that there’s additionally a authorized lacuna, in that whereas the pharmaceutical business is extremely regulated below the purview of the Ministry of Well being, the principle governing Act, nevertheless, doesn’t cowl the scope of e-pharmacy.
“There may be an absence of a transparent regulatory framework to assist e-pharmacy and the advantages it brings to shoppers,” he mentioned.
Hiew additionally cautioned in opposition to faux service suppliers.
He mentioned a authorized e-pharmacy often seems on both a self-owned web site or had an official retailer in an e-commerce market.
“By consulting an actual skilled pharmacist, you’re being protected by the Act and rules.
“Solely a licensed pharmacist is authorised to seek the advice of, advise and dispense primarily based on their finest follow,” he mentioned.
In the meantime, commenting on the latest floods that hit varied states in Malaysia, Hiew mentioned medicine uncovered to floods might change into contaminated.
“This contamination might result in critical well being results. We advocate for the medicine to be discarded and changed with new batches.
“Treatment resembling insulin which must be saved in a fridge ought to be discarded as effectively. They’re temperature-sensitive and will lose efficiency if not refrigerated. They want to get replaced instantly,” he added.