Telepharmacy market encompasses services such as healthcare-based services, such as pharmaceuticals, delivered via telecommunications. These services come into play for patients in isolated locations where direct contact with a pharmacist is difficult as well as patients with a hectic schedule where physical presence in a pharmacy is not possible. Telepharmacy services may include drug review/monitoring, provision of drug information, medication dispensing, verification of oral and sterile compounding, patient assessment, patient counseling, and medication therapy management. Telepharmacy provides consultation to patients that are living in remote locations thus ensures patient access to quality health care service in medically backward and rural areas. Furthermore, another important factor that impacts the market is the availability of pharma-care at minimal costs. This helps benefit end-users to saves additional costs in respect to capital investment and pharmacist.
The global telepharmacy market was valued at USD 13.5 million in 2019 and is anticipated to grow with a CAGR of about 4.2%.
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The adoption of telepharmacy is rapid due to the increasing affordability of videoconferencing technology among people and the increasing capability of the pharmacist to gain access to electronic patient health records. Further, several pharmacies have extended their businesses by providing traditional pharmacy activities remotely through the Internet. These factors have driven the market in a positive direction.
Presently, rural hospitals are increasingly motivated to improve the standard of medication services and providing safety. However, they face problems due to the limited supply of pharmacy products as well as interested pharmacists for practicing in smaller rural communities. The telepharmacy market addresses similar issues and thus are suitable alternatives to classical means of purchasing and procuring medications. This has created a lucrative opportunity pocket for the market to achieve greater penetration.
Additionally, the advent of affordable and accessible fast internet services has certainly helped the cause. For instance, the Reliance Jio 4G movement in India has fuelled internet accessibility and usage across the Indian subcontinent at a much affordable price. Thus, as a greater number of people have access to high-speed internet, the telepharmacy market has been benefited by witnessing folds increase in adoption.
The market players are actively working and heavily investing in R&D activities to come up with new and innovative telepharmacy. These telepharmacy apps help the market players to expand their retail pharmacy and also serve more patients cost-effectively. For instance, In October 2018, Progressive Care Inc. announced a beta launch of a new proprietary telepharmacy software platform for real-time patient to pharmacist video interaction.
Further, with the growing prevalence of chronic illness all over the world, the importance of telepharmacy services have become very important. For instance, with the growing burden of mental illness worldwide, pharmacists are well situated to play a major role in providing support to patients with such disorders. For instance, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 1 in 5 American citizens live with at least one mental illness.
As reported In 2017, there were an estimated 46.6 million adults in the United States with such conditions which are approximately18.9% of all U.S. adults. Telepharmacy products and services can help reach a greater number of people and provide timely care.
Additionally, mental health organizations can also connect specialists to patients across the network for providing remote-video counseling. Therefore, this enables organizations to maximize their reach and look after a greater number of patients. Thus, the growing adoption of telepharmacy in mental health centers is anticipated to drive the growth of the telepharmacy market over the forecast period.
The Inpatient telepharmacy segment is anticipated to dominate the telepharmacy market over the forecast period. The inpatient telepharmacy services are also called remote order entry services.
This market dominance by the segment is primarily owing to the increasing adoption of telepharmacy in remote areas. Segmental services provide real-time medication along with review and verification steps for hospitals and other end users. Broadly, inpatient telepharmacy functions as an extension to the hospital-based in-house pharmacy.
The market services enable pharmacists to operate extensively in rural areas without physical presence. Additionally, with inpatient telepharmacy, remote pharmacists can provide 24/7 support to help supplement and strengthen the in-house pharmacy located at the end-user facilities.
This assists the remote pharmacists to offer quality care to a greater number of patients at the same time.
Based on end-user, the hospital segment is anticipated to contribute to the maximum market share in terms of revenue in the telepharmacy market.
The hospital segment’s domination is owing to the significant advantages of telepharmacy that are being recognized. For example, the unavailability of pharmacists in hospitals more specifically in rural areas, that cannot afford pharmacists have been a major restrain for healthcare services. However, with the advent of telepharmacy services, hospitals have recognized it as a potent alternative and thus extensively adopted the same. Moreover, the lack of an adequate number of skilled pharmacists has significantly helped the adoption and increased the demand for telepharmacy. The market growth is fuelled by favorable government initiatives to support telemedicine and increasing healthcare expenditure. For instance, the adoption of technologies like electronic medical records, digital Health cards, and others across all countries have boosted the projectile since all of these can be coupled with the market.
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Based on geography, the global telepharmacy market is classified into North America, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Central, and South America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East and Africa.
The North American telepharmacy market holds the majority of the market share in terms of revenue. The regional market is being driven by the growing trend of remote patient surveillance, advances in technology, and an increase in the number of chronic disease cases. For instance, according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 6 in 10 Americans suffer from chronic diseases, which include heart diseases, diabetes, cancer, chronic lung disease, and others. Further, it is reported that 40% of adults in the region suffer from two or more of these diseases. Thus, to provide healthcare support to such great patient volume, telepharmacy services have seen major adoption.
Further, organizations have recognized the potential of the market to reduce medical care spending which has enabled government efforts in spreading awareness regarding the same. For instance, according to the CDC, chronic diseases in the U.S. claim 3.5 Trillion USD in Annual Healthcare costs. Besides, improvements in Internet applications, virtual medicine, and the growing demand for centralized medical care are expected to reduce costs, which is one of the key success factors that drive the growth of the telepharmacy market in this region.
Asia-Pacific is the fastest-growing region in terms of revenue owing to the presence of growing economies like India, and China. The huge population in the region also corresponds to the huge patient volume. Also, the number of skilled pharmacists and doctors available in the region is quite low which has resulted in an uneven Patient to doctor/ pharmacist ratio.
In a scenario like this, telepharmacy services have shown great potential in attending to such a volume of patients. This has primarily driven the regional market at a fast pace. Moreover; during the infectious outbreak of COVID-19 the region took a huge impact as the epicenter of the pandemic. Thus, during such times of mandatory social distancing and global lockdowns, people have opted and preferred online health services to limit exposure and the risk of infection. Thus, the telepharmacy market has gained a major boost during the pandemic.
Also, the increasing awareness of people towards digital healthcare solutions is driving the telepharmacy market over the forecast period. Moreover, the various government initiatives to promote telepharmacy services in remote locations are driving the growth of the market in the region.