Online pharmacy is a part of the growing surge of E-commerce in India. E-commerce includes all kinds of buying and selling business activities over the internet.
The business here is controlled through proper management and running of the company website. Online pharmacy is a newly grown form of medical store in India. This
online medical shop includes various forms of medical stores like the online branch of an offline medical shop, independent-only online stores, and online pharmacies that are actually working as collaboration among various other medical shops. These medical stores are all operated in online mode and their services are delivered to the customers through various delivery agents. The significant boost in the online medical store popularity and usage came during the period of the covid-19 pandemic. During a pandemic when everything was standing on hold, medicines were among the essentials.
Due to the country-wide lockdown, this form of medicine delivery was given a boost and hence it is in use and growing even beyond the time of the pandemic. Actually, this system of online pharmacy was discovered very early in the modern era but its growth went significant after the pandemic only.
The working of an online medical shop starts with first the registration of the medical store. There are various regulatory laws and rules available in India and abroad that decide the working rules of online pharmacies. Each medical store online needs to have a registered pharmacist on the payroll. This pharmacist works to check all the prescriptions and requested medicines. Only upon his approval, if required after consultation with the patient, the medicines are packed and shipped to the desired customer location.
Formally, the online medical stores work by following the below-mentioned steps.
- Download the mobile application of the online pharmacy or visit the online website of the desired pharmacy.
- Log in to the application or website with your proper details and mobile number.
- Find out all the medicines that you want to buy and add to the cart the desired quantity of each medicine.
- Provide your exact and complete delivery address and upload the prescription.
- On receiving your order request, the system will automatically send the prescriptions and the medicine demands to their registered pharmacist.
- The pharmacist verifies your medicines and if any schedule H or X medicine is included in the prescription or list, they will contact you and ask for your need for the medicine.
- In case, some medicines of the desired company are not available then after consultation with the patient, the pharmacist may prescribe the same composition medicine of a different company to the patient.
- Following the approval of the pharmacist, the prescription and order list are sent to the medicine warehouse. From there the desired medicines of desired company and composition are shipped to the customer’s address.
- The payment of the order can be made both online and offline. This is completely based on the convenience of the customer.
So, upon successfully completing these above-mentioned steps, the desired medicine will reach your doors in no time. There are some online medical shops that have their branches spread around the main cities of the state. This enables the delivery to take place within a few hours of order, usually on the same day. Usually, for the sale of medicines a prescription is a must, but if the medicine to be bought is an over-the-counter drug, then it can be sold even without any prescription.
Online pharmacy is just not an online medical shop, but it brings with it a complete package. It provides a number of other services too along with the delivery of the desired medicines. Some of the offerings that are deliverable by the online pharmacies are mentioned below.
Teleconsultation refers to the online appointment with a doctor. Here you are asked to pay a required amount of fees, book your appointment, and then consult with your doctor via video calling. This facilitates you to make your consultation done at any time according to your ease and visit the doctor from anywhere. This facility by online pharmacies has reduced the boundaries between doctors and patients. Besides, are providing the opportunity for more reach of people to medical services.
With every online pharmacy, a registered doctor is always associated. A general physician is always an available person at these medical stores. They help to clear your doubts and answer your inquiries. Besides, a well-trained and skilled attendee is always at your service to clear your inquiries related to anything and book your appointment if required. They create such a healthy environment that will make you their regular customer over time.
For conducting any kind of test earlier you needed to visit the lab and submit your sample. This processing was quite hectic and awful too. But now these online pharmacies come with the provision of sample collection right from your home. You can easily book your slot, stay relaxed at home and provide your sample to the executive. The sample collection executive visits your home at the exact given time and in a very easy and friendly way collects your sample. Hence, reducing your haste of going to the lab, waiting in line, and then submitting your samples.
Once the sample is collected and the tests are run by the labs, the test results are generated and sent to the customers in no time. This system of offers provided by the online pharmacies makes it very convenient for the customers to keep up with their regular life. This reduces the worry of rushing to the lab for test result collection.
The distribution of various services by online medical shops is by the help of shipping partners, delivery services, and experienced lab executives. The whole process of shipping its medicines to the desired customer is conducted through their partnership with the proper shippers. It’s all on the shipping and billing party who takes care of the dispatched medicines till they reach the customers. With these parties are associated various delivery agents who belong to the specific locality to do the work of delivering the medicines to the customers on time. Besides, while talking about the distribution of other online consultation and medical lab test services. A proper channel is set with well-educated and skilled technical staff. They do the whole work of processing all the customer’s information to provide it to the right doctor and lab. Once the online part of the work is completed, then executives from labs are sent to the patients for sample collection and testing. Besides, for teleconsultation, a proper channel with time slots and doctors is set for the patient with the desired condition.
Thus, in this way all the services are distributed to the customers with ease and smoothness by the online pharmacies.
The evolution of online medical shops provides a lot of advantages to its customers. Compared to the conventional or traditional medical shops you get a lot of benefits by making your purchase from online medical shops. The major benefit is enjoyed by the elderly and disabled persons, who actually can’t visit the medical stores. Besides, it helps to save both your time and money. So, let us have a look at the multiple advantages provided by online pharmacies to their customers.
Online medical stores are very helpful for those who can’t move themselves to visit the traditional stores and get their medicines. It is very painful to always ask someone to do this stuff for you. Sometimes consultation with a doctor is required or they may need to get some medical lab tests run for them. For all this work they may need someone every time. Hence, to help them online pharmacies are at work. Just by following some simple steps, an elderly person or a disabled person can get his/her medical needs fulfilled without any third person involvement.
Buying medicines online provides you with a good amount of discount. Traditional stores can reduce up to 10-12% on your medicine prices when bought in bulk. But online pharmacies are different they provide you a minimum 18% discount on each medicine you buy. The quantity of medicine is also not fixed for availing the benefits of discount. So, it eventually ends up saving at least a third part of the money that you may spend offline to buy the same drugs.
For all those who are shy about confronting people, online pharmacies are the help. Via the use of online pharmacies, you can avail a variety of online services, ranging from doctor’s consultations to buying items like condoms, pregnancy kits, or contraceptives required for sexual purposes. This reduces the awkwardness of visiting a medical store and buying them.
By using online medical stores, you get the chance to use a variety of medical services at ease. Some of the major beneficial medical services provided by online pharmacies are discussed above. They keep your confidentiality safe and ensure you feel comfortable and get the advantage of all the services they provide.
Besides these, there are various other benefits that you can get from online pharmacies. Just to acknowledge them, some are mentioned below.
- Saves time
- Provides a greater variety of medicines
- Enhances your medical knowledge by providing links to various medical universities, articles, brands, and government agencies.
- Reduces the chances of fraud due to collection of online database
As there are boons, there are also attached some problems with any technology. As genuine online medical stores are also available some illegal stores work online. The illegal term here refers to the illegal services that they provide. Some of the illegal works performed by the medical store online include:
- Allowing minors (below the age of 18 years) to become their customers.
- Selling such drugs which are banned by the government or the company itself.
- Hiding the correct maximum retail price and selling the medicines at price higher than the actual price.
- Avoiding the expiry date of the medicine and selling it to the customers.
- Providing poor or almost negligible customer care or support services. Avoiding the return of wrong medicines from the customers.
- Selling schedule X and schedule H medicines without a prescription.
Apart from the above pointers to indicate the illegal work performed by some medical stores online, some stores are working illegally online. This includes the audacity of the stores to run unlicensed, hampering the privacy policies of the customers, selling the details of their customers, and many more. Due to inexperience, some novice users fall into their traps and get harassed.
The only way to save yourself and your money from this is by starting to gain knowledge about the technology and using it with care. Besides, on general grounds, the problem can be solved by enhancing the technological security from the back-end and making strict laws to regulate the online pharmacy-related acts properly. Besides, we can incorporate the addition of a few techno-legal policies and activities related to privacy, customer details protection, protection of its website-related legal data, advertising online, and sincere diligence to cyber laws. If the medical shops abide by these proposed laws then only they should be allowed to operate as online medical shops.
With the growing technology and advances in the way of living, online medical stores are gaining an abrupt boost in their work. People are leaning towards technology for both their safety and ease. Due to the various benefits and services they provide, people are choosing them more than the traditional services. This also helps people save both money and time. Yet there are associated some problems with online pharmacies, still, with proper regulation of laws, all these problems can get sorted. So, as the time is rising the need and demand for online medical services will be increasing so the major focus should be given to the IT part of the website. Alongside, customers should gain more knowledge about the services and the system of working of the online systems. This activity overall helps in the easy flow of work between both parties.
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