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The Church And Priests Should Go Online: Vatican Experts

We had to learn to listen to younger people who live in that [digital] environment, and to understand from them what they find helpful and supportive

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vatican experts, church
Monsignor Paul Tighe from the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Social Communications talks to the Associated Press during an interview. VOA

Priests should get online if they want to connect with people who may no longer attend church but can still be reached via social media, the Vatican’s digital expert said Tuesday.

Monsignor Paul Tighe, who helped develop Pope Francis’ online presence, urged Catholic clergy across the world to embrace social media to reach believers and nonbelievers.

Facebook, data, social media, church
A Facebook start page is shown on a smartphone in Surfside, Florida. Aug. 21, 2018. VOA

“Young people are, unfortunately, less present in our churches,” Tighe, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture, told Reuters at a technology conference in Lisbon.

“Social media is a mechanism that allows us to engage in conversations, to engage with people who otherwise would never come across us and who we are.”

Pope Francis has nearly 18 million Twitter followers and his posts are widely shared, but not all church leaders are following his example, Tighe said.

“In the beginning, some Catholics said social media was nasty and that we should stay out of it,” he said.

pope, chruch
Pope Francis delivers the Urbi et Orbi (to the city and to the world) blessing at the end of the Easter Sunday Mass in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican, Apr. 1, 2018. VOA

“We have been trying to convince them that the digital arena is a hugely significant part of people’s lives.

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“We had to learn to listen to younger people who live in that [digital] environment, and to understand from them what they find helpful and supportive.”

It was the Irish bishop’s second year at the annual Web Summit — Europe’s biggest technology conference, which this year brought together 70,000 entrepreneurs and guests, including U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. (VOA)

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E-Pharmacies to Grow to $3.7 Billion by 2022: CLSA

The Indian pharma market is valued at $20 billion and has been growing at 10-12 per cent

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E-Pharmacies
According to CLSA, there are several E-Pharmacies operating currently but Netmeds, Pharmeasy, Medlife and 1mg have emerged as the key players with a pan-India reach. Pixabay

E-pharmacies are likely to grow seven times to $3.7 billion by CY22 as they aim to grab a large pie of the highly fragmented Indian market, according to a research note by foreign brokerage, CLSA.

The brick and mortar chemists have been protesting against the business models of online pharmacies and have gone on strike several times.

The Indian pharma market is valued at $20 billion and has been growing at 10-12 per cent. Continuation of current growth trends could propel the market to $35 billion by 2025, the report noted.

However, the distribution channel of the pharmacy market in India is highly unorganised and fragmented with over 80,000 distributors and more than 0.85 million brick and mortar retail outlets allowing room for organised and online pharmacies.

E-Pharmacies
The Indian market of E-Pharmacies is valued at $20 billion and has been growing at 10-12 per cent. Pixabay

According to CLSA, there are several e-pharmacies operating currently but Netmeds, Pharmeasy, Medlife and 1mg have emerged as the key players with a pan-India reach. Apollo Pharmacy with 3,500 stores is the largest offline pharmacy and is also piloting an e-pharma portal. These companies have cumulatively raised close to $400 million since starting out.

As per Frost and Sullivan, e-pharmacy is a nascent market worth $0.5 billion, but it is expected to grow nearly 7 times at 63 per cent compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) to $3.7 billion by 2022, riding higher internet penetration.

At present, e-pharmacies largely cater to subset of the chronic market (cardiac, diabetes where drugs purchases can be planned) and their penetration of the acute market has been tough.

Deep discounting and large promotional spends have been drivers of customer acquisition and sales growth. Most e-pharmacies are burning close to Rs 70-80 million per month and this is largely being funded by private equity money, the report noted

E-Pharmacies
At present, E-Pharmacies largely cater to subset of the chronic market (cardiac, diabetes where drugs purchases can be planned) and their penetration of the acute market has been tough. Pixabay

With draft guidelines for regulation of e-pharmacies issued, formalisation of the space on issue of final guidelines may also be an enabler for growth for these companies.

E-pharmacies currently comprise only 2-3 per cent of the India pharma market and thus have limited bargaining power while sourcing from the manufacturer.

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“Once e-pharmacies are able to garner 10-15 per cent share of the market, they are likely to have better bargaining power and could then be able to capture a larger pie of margins. Automatic substitution of doctor prescription to unbranded generics (Gx) could be a game changer for e-pharmacies. This may be possible once India enforces uniform quality standards,” CLSA said in the note. (IANS)