The pandemic has changed the way we buy and sell things. The medical industry is not an exception. More and more people (especially the elderly) don’t want to leave their homes for no good reason and prefer to order goods online. According to Fortune Business Insights, the Global ePharmacy market size is projected to reach $177 billion by 2026. eCommerce penetration drives the industry forward, so the number of people who order medicine online will only grow.
People want their deliveries to be fast and reliable. There are several examples of pharmacy home delivery service that make this a reality. In this blog post, you’ll learn about the main challenges faced by pharmacy delivery and examples of services that help people get medicine quickly without leaving the comforts of their home.
Pharmacy Delivery Process Ins and Outs
Online pharmacy app helps people save time and money. Pharmacies can reduce the cost of medicines and provide better service, accuracy, and efficiency in medication management. With online medication management service, drug stores will decrease their error rates and provide the right medications, dosages, and dosage forms. That’s not all. Online medicine delivery reduces medical waste and decreases the risk of unused pills being disposed of into land or water supplies.
To scale your business, you need to digitize it. The fact that Amazon has recently launched a new online store called “Amazon Pharmacy” only shows that this industry is rising. This Amazon app allows U.S. customers to order prescription drugs to their homes, with its Prime customers receiving free delivery of their medications.
“We designed Amazon Pharmacy to put customers first – bringing Amazon’s customer obsession to an industry that can be inconvenient and confusing. We work hard behind the scenes to handle complications seamlessly so anyone who needs a prescription can understand their options, place their order for the lowest available price, and have their medication delivered quickly.”
— TJ Parker, Vice President of Amazon Pharmacy, said in the retailer’s announcement.
So how does the business model of the medication delivery system look? There are usually two business models of a medication delivery service.
When pharmacies store a variety of medications
The process looks like this: a customer submits a prescription, a manager checks out the order and availability of an item, a customer makes the payment, and the order is delivered.
When brick and mortar pharmacies store the medicine and the medicine delivery service partners with them
In this case, the revenue is shared between the pharmacy and the delivery system. When a customer makes a request online, the medicine delivery system checks the item's availability in the nearest pharmacy. Then, a courier delivers the item to the customer’s address.
Both of the options have challenges you need to know about. Let’s review them in the next chapter.
Before developing your online pharmacy app, keep in mind the following digital transformation challenges:
- The human factor
- Constant updates
- Time to adopt
- Security issues
- Budget demands
You can read more about these challenges in our blog post “Digital Transformation Challenges in 2021.”
Pharmacy Delivery Problems and Challenges
Pharmacy next day delivery is more convenient for people than buying medicine in the store. According to an ASOP Global survey, 74% of consumers who have purchased prescription medicines from an online pharmacy in the past would do it again. However, pharmacy delivery includes a lot of nuances. Here are the most important pharmacy delivery problems and solutions.
Quick and Reliable Delivery
Medicine delivery is a time-sensitive process. Any delivery delays may lead to serious problems.
Most experts warn that there is no technical infrastructure that will monitor the safety of online drug stores. Besides, shady and unethical online pharmacies may send outdated medications or substitutes.
“A foolproof system has to be put in place by doctors, hospital regulators, pharmacists, and consumers. A panel has to be formed, and a technology process needs to be created for this to function effectively. Prescriptions should be digitally made and not scanned and sent to online pharmacies. Doctors should send digital prescriptions as this will also avoid prescription errors”
— Arvind Kasaragod, Director Medical Services at Cloud nine Hospitals
Keeping Track of Inventory
Keeping track of inventory is a complex task that requires working with a large number of suppliers and keeping all medical records in one place.
Supplying Medicines for Retaining Potency
Temperature-sensitive medications require special transportation. There is no assurance of temperature control either at their storage points or during transport.
Privacy and Identity
According to the survey we have mentioned above, 57% of consumers believe their privacy and/or identity theft is at risk when using online pharmacies. So make sure you don’t neglect privacy when developing your online pharmacy app. For example, the Capsule app (which we will describe further) stores all of your personal data in an encrypted HIPAA-compliant environment.
When it comes to delivery, ensure that the deliveries are made by HIPAA-certified NowRx employees. These are employees that have undergone extensive background checks and training to ensure safe medication delivery.
Pharmacy Home Delivery Service: Examples and New Solutions
Let’s look at new solutions to these prescription delivery challenges; solutions that will transform the industry and make pharmacy delivery easier and more efficient.
“The popularity of custom software development solutions in healthcare is booming. And those solutions are becoming ‘smarter.’ The healthcare industry needs a transformation and more examples of custom software development solutions for better patient experience and growth of medical knowledge”
— Vlad Medvedovsky CEO at Proxet, a custom software development company.
Capsule is a free prescription delivery app that delivers prescriptions the same day, for free—all from your phone. How does it work?
After signing up, Capsule coordinates with the customer’s pharmacy or doctor to get prescriptions. Then it delivers the medicine to you at the scheduled time and even coordinates refills, so you don’t have to remember when to order again or to place a new order.
NowRx is a pharmacy that brings medication to you instead of you coming in to pick up medication. It provides the following features:
- Free Prescription Delivery in Hours
- Local Presence in Service Areas
- Insurance & Prior Authorization Assistance
- Automatic Coupon Search & Application
- Out of Pocket Price Match Guarantee
How does it work? The customer sends their prescription; their manager reaches out to the client via phone to collect their insurance copay, confirm the address, and set up a delivery time. After that, a NowRx employee will deliver the medication in hours from a local NowRx Pharmacy for free.
NowRx makes money from reimbursement from insurance and copays from the patient.
PillPack is a full-service pharmacy that sorts your meds by date and time and delivers them to you every month. To sign up, a customer needs to provide the following:
- The list of the medications
- The doctor information
- Any insurance information
- Payment method
After that, a system transfers all your prescriptions and sets up personalized service. They coordinate with your doctor, schedule your first shipment and order your refills, and package your medicine by time of day. Every month, their customers get pharmacy support, automatic refills, and free delivery. Also, they send a detailed list of all your meds and dose instructions monthly together with images to identify each pill. To ensure safety, a PillBack pharmacist checks every packet at multiple points in the process. They also review your full med list for any interaction issues.
Medly is a full-service digital pharmacy that offers free same-day prescription delivery for all types of medications. How does it work? A customer coordinates with a doctor to let him know about Medly, schedules their delivery via mobile app or website, and tracks the order. This app's key features help it provide always-on pharmacy support and reduce customer costs by applying discounts and loyalty programs.
When it comes to delivery safety, medications are delivered by members of Medly’s HIPAA-certified delivery team. All drivers are trained in FWA and thoroughly screened before hire. Meds are securely transported in tamper-free packaging that can only be opened after delivery.
If you want to build new technologies in the healthcare industry, don’t hesitate to read our blog post “How to Build New Technologies In Your Healthcare Organization: A Roadmap,” where we talk about an innovation strategy framework for healthcare.
Designing efficient pharmacy delivery solutions requires a team of experienced professionals. Our team at Proxet can help you create a medicine delivery app that will meet your business needs. We’ve developed various solutions for our clients from the healthcare industry, such as a Medical Research Portal with more than 10,000 users and on-demand healthcare analytics software. Trust your product to us, and we will achieve the best results together.
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