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Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • Jun 17, 2012

Online Pharma Store - Startup Opportunity?

Almost everything seems to be online for sale; except the medicines. I wonder why haven't the pharma stores made their way to the Internet yet. This also means that there's a *huge* opportunity for a budding entrepreneur to explore the domain and be one of the first movers.

But I could just be wrong. I'm not aware of the licenses, permits required to run a pharma store online/offline. There must be some reason; but I don't know what it is. It would be interesting to have insights on this. Anyone?
PuneetVerma
PuneetVerma • Jun 19, 2012
First of all, for selling medicine, you need to have license. Most of medicine shopkeepers don't have that and they just run their shops of license of others'. In India Medicinal Industry is in worst case, because people with some knowledge open their shops in good locality on others' license.

Coming to online store, Right know it is not allowed. Because It will result in selling of Illegal Medicine, Banned Drugs etc. There will be no control on market of medicine, which can be used for specific age group as anyone can order through Internet.

In my opinion, Online Pharma Store should never be allowed.

Source : My Sister. She has done M. Pharmacy and presently she is a lecturer in Pharma College
Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • Jun 19, 2012
Thank you for the insight, pverma. I'm not sure how online stores will result into selling illegal medicine. It can always be kept under check, right?
My company makes and sells artificial internal organs as also medicines. Many Indian poor patients are non compliant with certain medicines essential to be taken for life if they have an implanted device. We thought of providing this free or at nominal cost to such. We had to give up because of the huge red tape associated with it. Curious, since we manufacture and sell other allopathic and herbal medicines for which we have license. The trouble was the retail sale part. Even for giving the stuff free!
Long live India that is Bharat!
Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • Jun 19, 2012
One reason that just struck my mind is - because buying medicine requires a prescription. Few of the medicines just can't be sold without a prescription. Another important thing is deciphering doctor's handwriting is no easy job.
The_Big_K
One reason that just struck my mind is - because buying medicine requires a prescription. Few of the medicines just can't be sold without a prescription. Another important thing is deciphering doctor's handwriting is no easy job.
That is right. However, there are many over the counter medicines that can be sold directly.
As far as hand writing is concerned, my English professor Rev.Fr.Dennis (the menace as we used to call him) told me,'your essay must be good once I am able to decipher your hand writing and read it.'
xheavenlyx
xheavenlyx • Jun 20, 2012
Interesting Idea. A market research can be done by talking to the pharmacists and their parent companies.

Let's take an example. White Helix is an online pharmacy. They have their offices located in downtown and they are in contract with all the leading pharmacies around the city.

Patient logs on to whitehelix.com and (1. looks for med, 2. scans prescription, 3. logs into her account to see record of medications, etc)... there are many use cases that we can study. But let's get back to the main question.

Is there a need?

1. It would facilitate the delivery of meds efficiently because coming to the store can be uncomfortable for patients with physical conditions, mental conditions, bed ridden, wheelchair bound, embarrassing medical conditions, etc.

2. You can keep track of your prescriptions. Your doctor can too.

3. Ease of use. Scan your prescription and get the medicine delivered to you, pay on delivery. Better yet, the doctor can upload the prescription for a patient itself.

What can hinder whitehelix.com to work?

Legal issues: Authorities do not understand online transactions and scanning of prescriptions. (Solvable?)

Operations: Generally, very hellish unless each pharmacy have their own delivery units (some do here in UAE)

Payments: Online payments are headaches for people. (Cash on Delivery may work? Whitehelix.com makes money by getting pharmacies to register with us.)

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