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Online emerging as big market in pharma space: Axis Capital

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Online emerging as big market in pharma space: Axis Capital

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Prakash Agarwal, deputy head of research and executive director of pharmaceuticals at Axis Capital, on Thursday, said that online is emerging as a big market in the pharma space.

Prakash Agarwal, deputy head of research and executive director of pharmaceuticals at Axis Capital, on Thursday, said that online is emerging as a big market in the pharma space.

Hospital stocks have seen a mild correction this week but continue to retain their gains this year. The same is reflected in terms of valuations. Healthcare stocks were in focus due to COVID-19 and now with non-COVID-19 occupancies normalising, the bump up from COVID-19 trailing off with revenue from verticals such as tele-consulting, vaccinations is likely to peter out. Also verticals such as diagnostics is seeing incremental competition.
In terms of triggers, hospitals are likely to focus on optimising existing networks such as clinical capabilities, cost savings, revenue verticals such as home care.
"There is a clear structural trend that we are seeing, whereas things like physical will be there for sure. I am not ruling that out, but the online setup is going to increase even if COVID normalizes,” Agarwal said in an interview to CNBC-TV18.
According to him, diagnostic businesses have picked up fast. “Not only pharmacies but diagnostics are also consolidating, for example, the Thyrocare Technologies deal (Thyrocare-PharmEasy), they are trying to get in an online diagnostic setup as well,” said Agarwal.
On Apollo Hospitals, he said, “Apollo has strong brand equity and the kind of addition in terms of online, which it can get, can be humongous. The company, in the last couple of quarters, has talked about strategic and financial fundraise. So, with that not only it gets fund to expand the funnel of digital, but a part of it also comes to Apollo hospitals, which is the parent company, for expanding the hospital business. So there could be a couple of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) which would expand the overall hospital business and EBITDA. So both ways it's a win-win scenario."
For more details, watch the accompanying video
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