Nearly everything we need these days is available at our fingertips. The convenience of getting groceries, cabs, food, etc., at our doorstep, has become rather commonplace. The newest members of this convenience club are online pharmacies.
Consumers are replacing trips to pharmacies with a tap on their mobile phones. When patients and family members are already stressed about an illness, going to buy medicines can become an added burden – one that online pharmacies have wiped off.
From waiting in long queues for a simple consultation to getting certified prescriptions over a phone call, we have surely come a long way. According to New York-based business news organization Quartz, more than 250 online pharmacies have emerged in India in recent years to capture nearly Rs.1,000 crore ($140 million) of the Indian drug market. The industry is booming with over 200 online pharmacy start-ups, including 1mg, Netmeds, and Medlife. These companies provide a reliable and convenient healthcare ecosystem for the customers.
Here are some advantages of buying medicines online that are contributing to the growth of online pharmacies in India.
Simplified Ordering & Delivery
Online pharmacies offer user-friendly experiences on their apps and websites. Some of these also provide the facility of a monthly supply of medications to the user. You can browse the app, add medicines to your cart, upload the prescription, and pay. It is a simple process and with Cash on Delivery as an option, even first-time shoppers feel comfortable. Moreover, these stores also provide Doctor-on-call service to assist users with any prescription-related queries or to offer advice regarding medicines.
Safety & Authenticity
Online pharmacies adhere to the legal requirements and procedures to safeguard the interest of their consumers. According to the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, and the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945, there are guidelines on the sale of Schedule-H and Schedule-X drugs. Online pharmacies ensure that drugs have proper labels and bar codes and are sold only after receiving a valid prescription. They deliver medicines in factory-sealed packages and match digital records with batch numbers. This keeps expired medicines out of the marketplace and consumers get only authentic medicines.
Buying Medicines Online Is Cheaper
The process of buying medicines online comes with numerous perks in terms of savings. When we purchase products via online pharmacies, we can avail varied discounts, bank offers, cash back and much more. Additionally, the medicines that are not available offline can be easily found at these online pharmacies.
Detailed Product Pages
As an informed consumer, it is essential to research on medicine or disease before moving further. Online pharmacies provide necessary information to users through dedicated product pages and blogs. One can access information regarding the ingredients, dosage, and even side effects of a medicine. These product pages enhance the knowledge of the consumer and help them make informed purchases.
The introduction of online pharmacies means immediate treatment is just a click away. People can get an online appointment with a certified doctor and avoid waiting in queue for basic ailments. After availing e-consultation, users can place an order for the required medicine which makes this a quick and convenient option.
According to Prashant Tandon, president of the Indian Internet Pharmacy Association, the online pharmacy industry makes a revenue of Rs.100-150 Crore every month. Undoubtedly, the proliferation of online pharmacies has resulted in increased benefits for customers. Given the encouragement this space is receiving, start-ups in this segment stand to gain a lot from this wave.
By Rohan Bhargava, Co-Founder, CashKaro.com