Online pharmacy delivery service has provided a great level of convenience to patients and healthcare providers. They offer cheaper prices in comparison to the brick and mortar stores, anonymity to customers, reduced transaction or product costs, and wider access to all medicines.
The rise in chronic diseases, technological advancements in the biological market, and rising demand for timely availability of drugs have led to the growth of the global online medicine delivery market. As per reports, the market is expected to generate $1,694.7 billion by 2023 in revenue. Further, North America will hold the largest market share of the pharmacy delivery market. However, the Asia-pacific market may grow at the largest CAGR.
What are the steps to start online pharmacy delivery service?
If you want to start an online pharmacy delivery service, below are the steps you should follow:
Step 1: Understanding The Legalities
The first step towards starting your online pharmacy delivery service requires you to understand the rules and regulations of your country in relation to the sale of pharmaceutical drugs. For instance, the laws require that the pharmacist to register and get licenses in the respective country or region where the online pharmacy intends to sell its products.
It is the duty of the licensed pharmacist to verify prescriptions, manage storing requirements, approve purchases, and oversee operations. The online pharmacy should further buy medicines and other products only from legally-recognized suppliers and manufacturers.
Step 2: Choose the business model
There are mainly two kinds of the business model for an online pharmacy delivery service. Under the first model, the online pharmacy owner stocks medicine himself. The online pharmacy first confirms the availability of the medicines ordered through a valid prescription, after which the customer makes the payment. The customers then receive the delivery of medicines.
The other business model doesn’t require online pharmacies to stock medicines. They operate by partnering with local pharmacies that deliver the medicines to the customers when ordered online. The online pharmacy checks the availability of medicines at the nearest store from the customer’s location and instructs that particular pharmacy to deliver the medicine. The online pharmacy collects the payments under this model and shares with partners as per agreed terms and conditions.
Step 3: Acquire Licenses and Set Structure
Depending on the laws of your country, get the necessary licenses and permits to operate an online pharmacy delivery service. You also need to set a legal structure for your business which may be a sole owner, partnership, incorporated organization or an LLC.
Step 4: Select the Platform for Online Pharmacy
At this step, you need to choose either an open-source or a hosted platform for your online pharmacy store. Open-source platforms are usually free of cost and flexible, however, they may not necessarily have shopping carts or customer support.
Step 5: partner with Suppliers and Manufacturers
The next step is to locate reputed suppliers and manufacturers for your stock requirements. You also need to hire delivery partners to deliver your products to your customers. However, if you have opted for another business model, you will have to connect with local pharmacy stores that will supply the products directly to your customers.
Step 6: Pharmacy Delivery App Development
No online business would work successfully without a pharmacy delivery app. To develop a mobile app, you need to identify and consult a medicine delivery app development company that provides end-to-end app development services.
What are the types of Online Pharmacy?
- Organized online pharmacy – This model consists of a market place model and an inventory-based model. The market place model connects licensed pharmacies within one neighborhood to the consumers. The inventory-based model is an online licensed pharmacy that delivers medicines directly to the end-user.
- Non-organized online pharmacy model – These are pharmacies that sell medicines without valid prescriptions and since there are no qualified pharmacists, the genuineness of the medicines can’t be identified. This model suffers from a lack of audit and record-keeping.
- Illegal online pharmacies – Under this model, drugs, and medicines are illegally traded across borders without prescriptions for cheaper medicines.
What are the benefits of Online Pharmacy?
Online pharmacy delivery benefits consumers at large due to the level of convenience they provide.
- Aids consumers especially aged people in buying medicines from the comfort of their homes through a few taps and clicks on smartphones or computers.
- Online pharmacy provides access to information about drugs such as usage, dosage, side effects, etc.
- An online pharmacy can easily track the medicines that consumers purchase.
- Different pharmacists can sell medicines on one website.
- Medicines can be properly organized and transaction records can be maintained systematically through ePharmacy.
- Increased availability and accessibility to a wider variety of medicines.
You should carefully consider the above and steps before you begin the process to start an online pharmacy delivery service. A business in the pharmaceutical industry can be risky if country-specific laws and guidelines are not followed properly. Therefore, to leverage the market to its full potential, ensure you have taken care of all the legalities and requirements before starting your e-pharmacy delivery service.