An E-pharmacy includes the distribution or sale, stock, exhibit or offer for sale of medicines through a web portal or any other electronic mode.
The business model
An online pharmacy business model has the purpose of making the life of buyers easy, as they don’t have to go to the medical store for even the smallest thing, especially the senior citizens.
It is very important to plan the revenue model when you are thinking of launching an online pharmacy. Even though it is a relatively low-cost business model, you have to spend a considerable amount of money to promote the business online. One thing can be purchasing the drugs in bulk from pharma companies which will save the margin between buying rate and MRP.
You can include online classified ads on the E-pharma site, by doing your E-pharmacy can earn extra money. The more popular a website becomes, the more income one can get. The secret behind an E-pharma success can be; low operational cost and high-profit margins.
Some essential requirements to launch an online pharmacy store:
- A pharmacist and a registered chemist should be there
- The prescriptions should be valid enough to accept orders
- The registered pharmacist or chemist should properly sign the bills
- Ordered drugs should be supervised by the pharmacist
- Drugs sent to the customer should be from a licensed chemist shop
Some other requirements an E-pharmacy owner should fulfill:
- Orders should be received through the E-pharmacy portal
- Dispensation of drugs should only be against the prescription from a registered medical practitioner
- Details of drugs dispensed and patient details should be maintained on the portal
- Registration certificate
- Types of drugs offered for sale
- Information of the suppliers and vendors
- details of a registered medical practitioner, if any
- Name and registration details of Registered Pharmacist who validates the prescription before dispensing the drugs.
- Details of the logistics service provider
- The return policy of dispensed drugs
- Contact details of the E-pharmacy – email, address, landline, and mobile number
- Facility for customer support and grievances redressal, available for at least 12 hours every day for 7 days of the week
- Details of the patient have to be kept confidential and not disclosed to any other person except the Central or State Government.
- The E-pharmacy registration holder who has received any prescription on the portal shall make arrangements to supply the drugs from any licensed retail or wholesale premises under the Drugs & Cosmetics Act, 1940.
- The licensing authority will have the right to monitor the information of the portal periodically and also physically inspect the premises from where the business is being managed, every two years.
- According to the draft rules, a 45 days window has been given to the public for any objections/suggestions which would be considered by the Central Government, after which the same would be re-notified in the Official Gazette and become effective.
Every person who wants to start an E-pharmacy business should apply for registration with the licensing authority. The registration will be valid for three years and should be renewed within 3 months of expiry. Some pre-requisites for registration are:
- Compliance with the provisions of The Information Technology Act,2000
- Cash or credit memo generated through the portal
- Serial number and date
- Name, address and sale license number of the licensee supplying the drugs
- Name, quantity, batch no., date of expiry and name of manufacturer supplying the drugs
- Name and address of the E-pharmacy registration holder along with a signature/digital signature of the Registered Pharmacist who is in charge.
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