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The online pharmaceutical market continues to surge in the first half of 2023, with big brands advancing and new drugs breaking through.

According to Sandalwood e-commerce monitoring data for China, in the first half of 2023, the Chinese online retail pharmaceutical market continued its rapid growth, reaching a scale of 32.6 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 29%. Among them, traditional Chinese medicine grew by 34% year-on-year, while Western medicine grew by 26%.



After the end of the pandemic, the pharmaceutical e-commerce market continued its rapid growth. In the second quarter of 2023, sales reached 16.6 billion yuan, with a year-on-year increase of 24%. It is expected that the pharmaceutical e-commerce market will maintain a high growth rate in the second half of the year, with an annual scale predicted to approach 70 billion yuan.


In the first half of 2023, the online retail pharmaceutical market demonstrated strong growth. Several hot topics and phenomenal events are worth noting.


      01 "Kidney tonics for anti-aging" is one of the steadily growing tracks, with the market scale reaching a new high, and top-selling products facing significant challenges.


In the e-commerce retail market for traditional Chinese medicine, kidney tonics for anti-aging rank at the top. In the first half of 2023, the sales volume reached 1.43 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 18%. Meanwhile, in the second quarter of 2023, the market scale reached 770 million yuan, setting a new record high over the past three years, with a year-on-year growth of 21%.


In the niche market, Hui Ren Pharmaceutical's "Shen Bao Tablets" has long dominated the top spot. However, even with an extended protection period of 7 years, its e-commerce sales have been experiencing a negative year-on-year growth trend over the past year, possibly due to challenges from new products.



Sandalwood's e-commerce pharmaceutical market monitoring data indicates that in the first half of 2023, sales of the new product "Zhuang Yao Jian Shen Pills" achieved a scale of 27 million yuan, with a sequential growth rate maintained at over 200%, showcasing strong momentum. At the same time, "Cordyceps Preparation Jin Shui Bao Capsules" and "Bai Ling Capsules" both entered the Top 10 list in the kidney tonics and anti-aging category.


As the market share of the super popular product "Shen Bao Tablets" in the kidney tonics and anti-aging sector gradually shrinks, the competitive landscape of this niche market online is likely to undergo significant changes in the future.


02 Golden Products in Cardio-Cerebrovascular Domain: Leading Brands at the Forefront, Stimulating Category Effect.


In the first half of 2023, the sales of cardio-cerebrovascular traditional Chinese medicine in the e-commerce retail market reached about 10 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 34%, with a market share exceeding 25%. As China enters a mild aging society, the incidence of cardio-cerebrovascular diseases continues to rise, and market demand will continue to expand.


Angong Niuhuang Wan is the golden product in this field. Sandalwood's e-commerce pharmaceutical market monitoring data shows that in the first half of 2023, the online sales of this product will approach 3 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 107%, with a market share of about 30%, far exceeding other products.


Among them, "Tongrentang" Angong Niuhuang Wan has an absolute brand advantage, leading the online market in the first half of 2023 with a 67% market share. At the same time, the effect of major products has stimulated the market. Major pharmaceutical companies have followed suit in their layouts, and small and medium brands have grown rapidly. Brands such as Hu Qingyu Tang, Pian Zai Huang, and Da Ren Tang have all experienced a year-on-year growth rate of over 500%.



03 Attention to Antidiabetic Drugs, Surge in "Weight Loss" Demand, Fierce Competition


The diabetes medication market has expanded due to the inclusion of weight loss indications. In the first half of 2023, the size of the diabetes retail e-commerce market reached 820 million yuan, a year-on-year increase of 41.7%. The significant weight-loss indications of antidiabetic drugs have rapidly expanded the demand for the weight loss market.


Among the antidiabetic drugs, Novo Nordisk's Semaglutide and Andatang Dapagliflozin performed prominently. Sandalwood's e-commerce pharmaceutical market monitoring data shows that Semaglutide, a GLP-1 receptor agonist, achieved a retail e-commerce market scale of 180 million yuan in the first half of 2023, a year-on-year increase of 400%, at one point surpassing Andatang Dapagliflozin.


The intense competition in the antidiabetic drug market also drove the sales growth of two GLP-1 receptor agonists, Dulaglutide and Novo Nordisk's Liraglutide.



In the first half of 2023, major products and hot topics dominated the entire Chinese pharmaceutical retail e-commerce market.


In the field of traditional Chinese medicine, products such as Lianhua Qingwen, Shenbao Pills, and Angong Niuhuang Pills received considerable attention. In the western medicine sector, consumers have gained a new understanding of the antipyretic analgesic ibuprofen, while the cross-indication weight-loss miracle drug Semaglutide and the star antidepressant Zoloft (left-hand replication) also became hot topics.


After enduring three years of the pandemic, the Chinese pharmaceutical e-commerce market has gradually revealed the market characteristics and development trends of the consumer goods industry. With the cultivation of online medicine purchasing habits, the perfection of the national online drug sales policy, and the standardization of the chronic disease medication market, the Chinese pharmaceutical industry's e-commerce market is poised for long-term development.

Disclaimer: The content and viewpoints expressed in this article are for reference purposes only and should not be construed as investment advice or recommendations. very investor should conduct thorough independent research and consult with professional investment advisors before making any investment decisions.
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