The digital pharmacy space is expanding, more than 60 pharmacies & supply chain start-ups are developing tech-enabled techniques to distribute essential pharmaceutical products & services to customers.
A survey carried out by Digital Health Nigeria to assess the behaviour of Nigerians to online order & delivery of prescription drugs revealed that Nigerians especially in Lagos (63.4%) prefer online purchase of prescription drugs, as opposed to buying from a pharmacy store (36.6%).
The major factors enhancing this purchase decision were ‘AVAILABILITY AT CONVENIENCE’, AFFORDABILITY & ACCESSIBILITY
Online pharmacies like www.drugstore.ng have a web of licensed pharmacies on their platform, that provide direct-to-consumer delivery of prescribed medication, virtual consultations with physicians & online engagements with patients via social media and SMS.
They have successfully leveraged this trend and simplified the process of having pharmaceutical products delivered to their consumers. We can call it a deliberate strategy on their part, as their customers not only have the opportunity to speak to physicians from their website www.consultation.drugstore.ng but can order medication easily via whatsapp, social media or the website www.drugstore.ng
IS THIS DEVELOPMENT POSITIVELY IMPACTING ON PATIENTS?
PRICE: There is an open opportunity for patients to purchase medication from a variety of pharmacies at affordable prices.
AVAILABILITY: Locally, some patients struggle to locate pharmacies who have certain rare drugs in stock. At this point, these digital pharmacies step in to provide these products that most local pharmacies can’t stock.
ASSURANCE: These pharmacies are licensed. There is also a large web of information about product performance, advanced data aggregation and analysis to generate insights into drug safety and efficacy.
ENGAGING PATIENTS: Patients are engaged through apps, health and fitness devices, and online communities. The convenience of talking to a physician from the comfort of your home / office empowers patients to take responsibility for their own health. Patients are already starting to use portals for their medical records, they use apps to fill scripts and online patient communities to speak to other patients with the same ailments.
CONVENIENCE: A few of these pharmacies like DrugstoreNG distribute these products nationwide, so patients can get their pharmaceutical products at their own convenience.
It is indeed a new era for digi pharma as patients can now bank on getting licensed pharmaceutical products, at affordable prices, all at their convenience.