Pharmacies have been around for a long time and they are always the preferred option when some is looking out for ‘medicine home delivery near me’ kind of option. Though, they are the always the first point for access to medicines; with the advent of mobile and rapid speed of digitization, consumers no longer have to depend on their neighborhood chemists since online pharmacies are accessible 24/7 and medicines can be purchased on the click of a button.
The growth of internet and implementation of technologies like Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, etc. have resulted in the evolution of newer business models in online commerce, logistics, e-pharmacy and more. As far as e-pharmacy or online medical store is concerned, it is one of latest technology advancements that bring last-mile ‘medicine delivery’ in the hands of the consumers. The best part about an online medical store is that it is 24*7 accessible, location agnostic and provides the much-needed convenience where consumers can buy medicines and lifestyle products without stepping out of their house. Though the online pharmacy market is showing signs of good growth, it still faces issues of government approval as the central government plans to regulate the sale of medicines through online pharmacies. The Central Drugs Standard Control Organization [CDSCO], the regulator for pharmaceuticals and medical devices in India, and the health ministry have initiated discussions to frame a policy that will facilitate access to quality medicines and encourage more entrepreneurs to sell medicines online. The government’s proposal to regulate the market will give a stamp of official approval and remove uncertainties surrounding the legality of such sales*.
Home-delivery of medicines is definitely more convenient for patients since they do not have to hop from one pharmacy to another. With the current government keen on improving the primary [and secondary] healthcare in India, online pharmacy/online medical store gives the patients living in villages/tier-2/tier-3 cities get access to qualified specialists from metros and access to legitimate brands, rather than relying on the drugs available with offline chemists [who might not have enough stock of medicines]. There are many brick & mortar pharmacies like Wellness Forever who have adequate expertise with medicines and pharmacy sector, are now following the online route to target a wider customer base. When it comes to online pharmacies, there are companies that do not own any inventory and work in the marketplace model, but the downside about this model is that they do not have full control over the customer experience [right form order confirmation->packaging->shipping->bill payment, either by Cash/Card]. The major advantage that Wellness Forever has over such online marketplaces is that it already has a huge offline presence in major metros [close to 100+ stores] and they come with years of operating experience in the pharmacy sector.
Be it a product in Babycare, Wellness, Pain relief, Weight management, etc., the medicine can be found on their online as well as offline store. Since they ship products from their offline stores, they can manage the customer experience in a much better manner. Wellness Forever can be an ideal one-stop solution for buying medical products since they cater to the first-mile as well as the last-mile medical delivery.
To summarize, E-Pharmacy is an important step in improving the state of healthcare in India and it not only benefits patients who do not have access to good healthcare, patients with chronic illness, elderly patients who can step out of the house, but every individual who has access to mobile phone and has a know-how about technology.
*References – Government policies for online pharmacies