- New survey by Bitkom: Six out of ten consumers in Germany buy drugs on the Internet.
- Almost a quarter of those surveyed redeem prescriptions for prescription drugs online.
That’s a slight increase from 2020, when 58 percent of consumers bought drugs from online pharmacies. In the pre-Corona period, 46 percent of those surveyed stated that they usually get their medication from an online pharmacy, and in 2018 it was only 33 percent. That is the result of a representative survey on behalf of the digital association Bitkom of 1,157 people in Germany aged 16 and over.
According to this, not only over-the-counter but also prescription drugs are ordered online: Almost one in four (23 percent) redeems prescriptions from online pharmacies – 61 percent buy drugs there without a prescription. In addition to pharmacies, online retailers are also noticing a rapidly growing interest in pharmaceuticals. In 2020, seven percent of people in Germany bought non-prescription drugs from online retailers such as Amazon; currently, at 15 percent, there are a good twice as many.
Online pharmacies close supply gaps
“Even beyond the restrictions caused by Corona, there are gaps in medical care, for example in rural regions or for people with limited mobility. Online offers help to close these gaps, ”explains Dr. Bernhard Rohleder, General Manager of the Bitkom digital association. Buying drugs online is particularly popular with younger consumers: 79 percent of 16 to 29 year olds buy drugs online, for 30 to 49 year olds it is roughly the same (80 percent) and for 50 up to 64-year-olds two thirds (66 percent). Among senior citizens aged 65 and over, two out of five (41 percent) order medication online.
Those who shop in an online pharmacy are largely satisfied or even very satisfied with the drug selection (94 percent), as well as with the price-performance ratio (88 percent). 84 percent praise the delivery speed, slightly more than in the previous year with 78 percent. The advice and information offered by online pharmacies, however, still need improvement. Satisfaction has decreased slightly here, from 47 percent in 2020 to currently 44 percent. Three in ten (30 percent) are not satisfied.
Online pharmacy is not a substitute for on-site pharmacy,
The online pharmacy is currently an addition to the on-site pharmacy, not a substitute, ”Rohleder is convinced. Almost all respondents (99 percent) get their prescription drugs at least partially this way. 84 percent buy non-prescription products in local pharmacies, 43 percent also use health food stores or drugstores.
Methodological note: The information is based on a survey carried out by Bitkom Research on behalf of Bitkom has performed. 1,157 people aged 16 and over in Germany were interviewed by telephone in May 2021. The questions were: “Where do you usually buy prescription or non-prescription drugs?”, “And how satisfied are you with the following aspects when buying drugs from online pharmacies?” (Sg)
Also read: Online retail in Germany: strong growth in the first half of 2021