Amazon said that it is allowing customers to order prescription-based medication, over the counter medicines, basic health devices and Ayurveda medicines.

A man with the Amazon app open on his
Atom E-pharma Friday, August 14, 2020 - 12:12

Amazon has entered India’s online pharmacy market, and has launched pharmacy services ‘Amazon Pharmacy’ in Bengaluru. With this, it takes on players such as NetMeds, PharmEasy, 1mg and Medlife.  This comes at a time that the e-pharmacy market is looking at consolidation.

“As a part of our commitment to fulfill the needs of customers, we are launching Amazon Pharmacy in Bangalore allowing customers to order prescription based medication in addition to over-the-counter medicines, basic health devices and Ayurveda medication from certified sellers. This is particularly relevant in present times as it will help customers meet their essential needs while staying safe at home,” an Amazon spokesperson said.

Reported first by Entrackr, the service is available also in some select locations in West Bengal and is likely to be expanded. Amazon Pharmacy can be found here.

Amazon is entering a second new sector in four months, with the company foraying into food delivery in May. 

Amazon’s entry into the sphere comes as Medlife and Pharmeasy held talks for a merger, and Reliance showed an interest in acquiring NetMeds.

Last month Medlife and Pharmeasy were in talks, and  the deal was likely to be valued at $200-$250 million. At the time, Medlife was looking at a 20-30% stake in the new entity that will be formed.

In May, Reliance Industries was reportedly in talks to acquire a majority stake in Chennai-based Netmeds. Reliance may invest $130-$150 million through one of its subsidiaries, which may also include a fresh infusion.

According to a white paper by FICCI on e-pharmacies, the e-pharmacy market had roughly 2.5 times the growth during the lockdown, with higher representation from non-metro cities.   

“It is estimated that the e-Pharmacy penetration level is likely to reach ~1.4x of its pre-COVID-19 household estimates by FY25. ePharmacy in India will be able to tap approximately 70 million households by FY25,” FICCI said. 

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