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How to Start Online Pharmacy in USA – Get a Glimpse on Future of Medication

The United States contributes 18% of its GDP to healthcare which is certainly higher than any other country.

The online pharmacy market in the U.S is said to grow by revenues at the CGAR of approximately 19% from 2020-2026 expected to cross $132 billion.

The reason for this significant rise is the new market shift towards the direct-to-patient model. The consumer-friendliness, ease of operation, and familiarity have pushed a lot of people towards using virtual care and wellness alternatives.

Because we know, when you are ailing or in treatment, waiting in lines, refilling prescriptions, and merely remembering to take your meds can be a stressful task.

So, in this blog, we will share a detailed guide on how to start online pharmacy in the USA and how can we help you achieve your vision with our healthcare IT expertise. 

What is an online pharmacy and how does it operate?

For us to understand the operational quotient of an online pharmacy, we need to know what exactly an online pharmacy is.

In layman’s terms, an online pharmacy offers prescriptions via the internet and allows consumers to speak with a pharmacist either online or over the phone rather than visiting them locally.

More than 50% of people in the US fail to take their prescribed medications. Online pharmacy business is attempting to offer various ways to provide medical advice and access information.

We are always on the lookout to bring you the easiest solutions. When you are a pharmacist looking to start an online pharmacy in the USA, we make sure you thoroughly understand the whole process with ease.

Online pharmacies operate on a multi-tiered process where the process begins the moment a physician diagnoses a patient with an illness and prescribes medicine.

Here is how online pharmacy works:

  • When you have your pharmacy app integrated with the Pharmacy Management System, the e-prescription is directly uploaded to your PMS.
  • That is when you come into the scenario. Once the prescription is uploaded, it will be reviewed by the pharmacy. Moving forward will be cross-verification of prescription with the patients’ history.
  • This is the part where efficient integration plays an important role. To successfully execute this part, your online pharmacy platform requires access to the patient’s medical data.
  • Once the prescription is authenticated. The procurement of drugs comes into action. This is where PMS plays an important role. Through this system integration, your inventory and stocks remain updated, and the use of AI and ML in PMS assists in drug monitoring.
  • The final step left is the medicine and pharmacists license verification and final transportation.
  • The whole process when talked about seems lengthy but with the help of the web/app platform, the process is executed in minutes.

how online pharmacy works?

Ask yourself the right question. Why should you start online pharmacy?

In recent years, online pharmacy has seen a significant rise. As I said earlier it is a multi-billion dollar industry set to grow to $132 billion US dollars by 2026.

The medication segment in the US healthcare accounted for almost 76% of market shares for pharmacies.

Due to the substantial increase in the ease of use and convenience of online pharmacies platforms people are substantially opting more to acquire medicine and long-term medicine refills through them as well.

“In these dire times of the pandemic, an online pharmacy delivery app is the best way to help consumers and maintain social distance while supplying them with prescription medications.”

Reasons to start online pharmacy:

  • The customer is simply asked to fill out contact info, a prescription from a doctor, any insurance information, and finally pay after the procedure. This user-friendly process can draw more medication-specific clients. Developing the finest online buying system for pharmaceuticals.
  • It is convenient for customers to manage their medication when the online pharmacy manages a well-organized delivery system with timely delivery. Delivery route optimization, order fulfillment, and real-time tracking give you an edge when it comes to serving customers efficiently. Hence, growth in your online pharmacy business.
  • Your online pharmacy can provide access to various types of medicines to a big chunk of the population. And when consumers experience the ease of access, as they don’t have to go from shop to shop in search of a particular medication, out-of-stock medication is updated, purchasing prescription meds from their couches. And get information about medications, substitutes, pharmacist availability 24×7, and review by clinical experts. A perfect marketplace for you is automatically created.
  • For you as an online pharmacy, it is easy to manage and consolidate orders and monitor the number of orders, cancellations, sales reports, and analyze trends that naturally help your business grow.

You should read this too – Top 9 online pharmacies of North America

Starting online pharmacy? Here’s what resources you need

You have your business idea and have your mindset on starting an online pharmacy app. There is more to starting this business than just registering it with the state compliance for operations.

Apart from legal expenses, advertising resources, wholesale vendors, and a well-connected network of healthcare IT. The most important resource you require is healthcare-specific IT solutions.

Designing an online pharmacy app is a work of art, technical consultation, and marketplace access workup.

  • As an online pharmacy owner in the US, you need to have liability insurance. In the case of a liability claim, the average cost of a pharmaceutical claim is around $14,000. Which will eventually keep on increasing.
  • You need to obtain licenses for selling whole-scale prescription drugs, seek FDA approval, establish a legal business entity in the form of LLC or proprietorship and all these will amount to a legal expense for hiring a lawyer.
  • So, you have the app now you need to create a user base. Resourceful Advertising and marketing will be of utmost importance. At the same time, the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program(PDMP) database will help you in creating medication-specific user bases when integrated with PMS.
  • Start delivering with your app. You need an efficient delivery management system to be integrated with your pharmacy application for driver optimization, order tracking, and real-time update.
  • You need to have compliance with HIPAA HITECH act, ADA compliance, Integrations with EHR/EMRs/PMS which require companies like SyS Creations who are healthcare-specific experts.

Features your online pharmacy app should have

There are generally two separate modules in the online pharmacy app – one is for users and another is for pharmacists.

pharmacy app features

For Users – 

1. ePrescription

All the user needs to do is submit their prescription, and as the AI customize all the medication to their cart, placing an order, and keeping track of refills based on the past purchase history.

2. Medication Search

Having filters that are comprehensive for a more refined search. So people always get what they look for. Connecting and integrating the app with PDMP and PMS to get quick and accurate drug information.

3. Support Assistance

You can contact a member of the support team. If you have any queries or have difficulties using the app. Support will be available 24×7.

4. Telehealth

With this feature, doctors can now transmit or upload prescriptions straight to the app via teleconsultation and have clinical data of patients with EHR/EMR integration.

5. Patient Portal

This will include prescription transfer requests, clinical history, support, medication and refill reminders, live-tracking and order history, And payment options.

For Pharmacists –

1. Pharma-Management

This feature caters to your monitoring, assessing, planning, collecting, and following-up needs. Notifying the pharmacists in your alliance to verify the medications while informing you of the safe and effective dispensation of drugs.

2. Inventory & Shipping Management

Operating and maintaining in-house delivery vehicles and personnel effectively and efficiently. Furthermore, monitoring the availability of stock of commodities that is automatically updated with artificial intelligence and RPA would be just a click away.

3. Managing Orders

You will have absolute access to all the orders, tracking information, and other crucial details such as specific instructions and remarks made by customers while placing orders.

4. Customer Service

All your customer inquiries will be stored in a centralized database, together with information about the query’s progress and the customer executive who will be attending it.

5. Analytics and Compliance

Keep track of your compliance to make sure it is up to date. And, with analytics assistance, obtaining crucial consumer information that aids you in identifying the most desired product, age, location, and purchasing behavior. Thus, helping you in making strategic business judgments.

Understanding what, why, and how of pharmacy management system and its integration with online pharmacy mobile app

Pharmacies have always been more than just places for you to get prescriptions. Experiencing a way of change in the healthcare industry, pharmacies have stayed no exception.

A pharmacy management system is a software-based system that helps automate the pharmacy workflow thereby, reducing unnecessary human efforts.

A PMS can help improve pharmacists’ efficiency, improves patient’s health outcomes, and prevent medication fraud by cross verifying all the prescriptions with Prescription Drug Monitoring Database(PDMP).

Apart from providing basic features to a pharmacy, there are many integrations that a PMS can do that aids in absolute add-on benefits.

If you are unable to conduct your deliveries or the order placement is very well outside your delivery radius, integrating with FedEx or DHL will let you manage orders, issue delivery alerts, and automation of fulfillment procedures.

Micro-merchant systems such as ScriptAbility plug from PrimeRx PMS providers can generate labels with Braille, large prints, Multilingual labels, and Controlled Substance Safety.

So, your pharmacy floor is crowded and the phone won’t stop ringing, HIPAA compliant Interactive Voice Response Systems come to your rescue. Companies like Omnicell collaborate with PMS.

In the future, if you want to decide as to which company to go for we provide you with the top PMS services providers in the US.

Getting integrated into the pharmacy management system results in a better clinical and patient-facing experience from start to finish.

Compliance – keep your online pharmacy business regulated

The US healthcare industry is one of the most regulated healthcare systems in the world. So, if you are planning to open an online pharmacy business you need to adhere to compliance standards.

  • Establishing guidelines for preserving the privacy of medical information kept and exchanged in electronic for online pharmacy app by applying the HITECH act in accordance with HIPAA compliance.
  • Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that all of your tech, applications, and websites be accessible to people with disabilities, especially in healthcare

Online pharmacy + telemedicine + healthcare eCommerce = Healthcare super app

In the above section, we talked about the integration of online pharmacy which inherently led to this point.

What if patients can text or chat with expert pharmacists regarding their medication plan, get their physician to provide them with an ePrescription directly to their pharmacy when consulting through telemedicine, or get medication insurance on the same online pharmacy app platform?

I know you might be thinking, have I gone bonkers or what. But visualize for a minute and think if you made this possible then the level of customer peace of mind will be on another level.

One such example is Capsule, a digital pharmacy startup based in New York founded in 2015. Now valued at $1 billion. This super healthcare app is ahead of its time and provides telemedicine from its online pharmacy platform.

capsule app

How much money can you make with an online pharmacy?

Let us just provide you with an overview. Every year, online pharmacies make a significant portion of somewhere around $370 billion a year on prescription drugs.

These numbers will continue to rise due to standard inflation and the aging population.

So, let’s say your pharmacy sells 1,000 prescriptions a month at $300 apiece. And your operational cost is $175,000. You can easily make $125,000 in profits monthly.

The cherry on the cake would be introducing premium subscription services as you grow bigger. Which can have a personalized care plan or free 3 hours of monthly clinical consultation etc.

How can you succeed with SyS Creations? We guide you on the roadway of Triumph

We are healthcare-focused health tech, compliance, and integration specialists. Catering to only healthcare Industry solutions for the past 8 years.

Our aim is to provide a one-stop shop to you for all your health tech, business, and compliance needs. This reduces your hassle to coordinate in multiple directions.

The expert team of designers, app developers, BDA’s, compliance specialists, and strategists will assist you with documentation, workflows, UI/UX designing, developing desired code, running QA and compliance audit, to finally launching the app. Moreover, providing full after-launch support

With our 6D process of execution- Discovery, Discussion, Design, Development, Demo & QA, and Delivery.

Because we value health and develop technology to make it better!