Online purchases of OTCs in China are in action, according to James Fan, CEO, JOWIN China Group and Nicholas Hall’s Network Partner.
In 2014, Alibaba issued the world’s largest IPO (raising funds of US$25bn), increased its investment in its pharma dispensing e-business and aggressively developed its online healthcare shopping arm. It also supported many cloud-based health projects and encouraged traditional distributors to develop their online businesses.
“Double-digit growth of OTCs online and a rise of 20% among big brand nutritionals and cosmeceuticals proves that Chinese consumers are convinced by e-healthcare product providers. Tmall – operated by Alibaba – reported the Top 3 brands purchased on its site last year were Dong-e E-Jiao (Dong-e E-Jiao Group), Caltrate-D (Pfizer) and Fupai E-Jiao (Shandong Fujiao), which grew on average by more than 30% vs 2013. All three products have numerous line extensions that meet a range of daily healthcare needs. Regulations are set to allow the online prescription market to open up, too. Meanwhile, we believe the next digital healthcare hotspot in China will be at-home devices that can be used alongside online and mobile technology.