Integration of AI and E-Prescriptions Transform the European Online Pharmacy Landscape, While Regulatory Challenges Persist –

DUBLIN–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The “European Online Pharmacy Market (by Type, & Region): Insights and Forecast with Potential Impact of COVID-19 (2022-2027)” report has been added to’s offering.

The European online pharmacy market is poised for remarkable growth, with projections indicating it will achieve a substantial valuation of US$23.61 billion by 2023. This growth is expected to be driven by factors such as an aging population, an increasing number of internet users, and the convenience and cost-effectiveness of online healthcare e-commerce platforms. However, challenges related to the regulatory environment and concerns about cyber threats and data security may pose obstacles to this burgeoning market.

Online pharmacies, defined as websites that distribute medication to customers via the internet, are experiencing rapid expansion in Europe. The market is witnessing the emergence of new entrants seeking to tap into the potential of e-script services, which may impact both the over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription (Rx) segments. While the online pharmacy sector experienced a boom during the pandemic, the market’s future growth may face challenges as the impact of the pandemic wanes, and traditional flu/cold seasons return.

Key Market Segments

By Type: The European online pharmacy market consists of two primary segments: Online OTC and Online Rx. Online OTC leads the market, driven by increasing internet penetration and growing awareness of the benefits of online services, especially for over-the-counter medications.

Geographic Coverage

The European online OTC pharmacy market is segmented into Germany, the UK, Italy, France, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, and the Rest of Europe. Germany holds the largest market share due to surging demand for online medications and doorstep delivery services.

The German online OTC pharmacy market can be further divided into segments based on product type, with Beauty Products (BP), Healthcare Products (HP), Nutrition, and Medicine-related OTC products. The BP, HP, and Nutrition segment holds the majority of the market share. Additionally, the report also provides an analysis of the German Online Rx market, which has been growing steadily, driven by convenience and cost advantages, particularly during lockdown situations.

Top Impacting Factors

Growth Drivers

Aging Population

Increasing Number of Internet Users

Rising Health Care E-Commerce

Convenience & Lower Pricing


Regulatory Environment

Cyber Threats and Data Security


Integration of AI in Pharmacy Sector

Rising Implementation of E-Prescriptions

Escalating Adoption of New Technology

Driver: Increasing Number of Internet Users

The rapid rise in internet penetration across Europe has fueled the acceptance of new technologies and created a demand for digital health platforms. People are increasingly recognizing the advantages of the internet and favoring e-commerce over traditional brick-and-mortar stores. Internet access via smartphones, in particular, has gained significant popularity, driving the growth of the online pharmacy market.

Challenge: Regulatory Environment

The regulatory landscape for pharmacies varies from country to country in Europe, posing a challenge to the online pharmacy sector. While countries like Germany are gradually adopting e-prescriptions and allowing the online sale of prescription and OTC medications, others have more stringent regulations. For instance, Switzerland restricts the delivery of non-prescription medicines by mail unless specifically permitted by a doctor. These regulatory differences have presented hurdles for online pharmacies in Europe.

Trend: Integration of AI in Pharmacy Sector

The integration of artificial intelligence (AI) in the pharmacy sector is enhancing service quality, operational efficiency, and patient care. AI enables accurate diagnosis, effective disease prevention, and real-time health monitoring, which can foster customer trust and loyalty. Retail pharmacies are increasingly investing in AI tools to enhance service quality, reduce costs, and optimize inventory management. The goal is to improve patient access to virtual care via mobile devices, using AI analytics to facilitate the efficient sharing of medical information between patients, healthcare providers, and treatment centers.

The COVID-19 Analysis

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly accelerated the growth of the European online pharmacy market. Lockdowns and travel restrictions prompted more people to turn to online pharmacies for both prescription and OTC medications. Additionally, teleconsultations replaced in-person doctor appointments, leading to the development of digital prescriptions and further boosting the online pharmacy market. Practices like electronic prescription transfers and home delivery of medicines are expected to persist in the post-COVID era, continuing to drive market growth.

Analysis of Key Players

The European online pharmacy market is characterized by fragmentation, with Zur Rose Group, Chemist4U, Apotea, MedExpress, LloydsPharmacy, Shop Apotheke Europe, ChemistDirect, Parafarmacia-Online, UK Meds Direct Ltd., Medikamente-per-klick, Euro-Pharmas, and Meds Apotek AB among the key players in the sector.

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Laura Wood, Senior Press Manager

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