People who need a convenient and efficient means of purchasing medication can turn to the Internet. Online pharmacies allow customers to privately order medicine if they do not feel comfortable ordering from a local pharmacy. Customers may be incapacitated and cannot leave the house so the Internet is an alternative for updating prescriptions. Starting an online pharmacy that is structured legally will protect and serve your customers. The United States has strict regulations on online pharmacies to ensure those needing medication are protected.
- Skill level:
Obtain a domain name and a web host. Your domain name is what customers will type into their browsers to access your online pharmacy (youronlinepharmacy.com). A web host maintains servers that store the content of your website as well as handling customer traffic to your site.
Hire a licensed pharmacist to review prescriptions as they come in. U.S. law prohibits online pharmacies from operating without a licensed pharmacist or doctor. Locate pharmacists by placing a classified ad in your local paper or through organisations such as The American Pharmacists Association or The National Community Pharmacist Association.
Determine a method of receiving prescriptions. Orders cannot be filled in the U.S. without legal prescriptions. Means of receiving prescriptions can include e-mail, fax or uploads via your website.
Consult an attorney to review all legalities of your pharmaceutical company. There are many regulations and laws to follow; having an attorney available in the initial stages will ensure business protection.
Locate and build relationships with drug suppliers. Contact pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer and Merck to gain pricing information. Apply to be a distributor or locate authorised distributors of pharmaceuticals in your area. Pharmaceutical companies will inform of you of storage methods for each of their medications.
Tips and warnings
- Some online pharmacies have affiliate programs. You can still create your own website for your pharmacy, but you will refer your customers to the affiliate drugstore and receive a fee for doing so.
- Domain registrants can charge between 60p and £9 per year to register your domain name.
- Web hosts charge £1.90 or more per month. Start with a more limited plan, and if traffic or content exceeds the memory in your particular package your web host will notify you to upgrade.
- 20 of the funniest online reviews ever
- 14 Biggest lies people tell in online dating sites
- Hilarious things Google thinks you're trying to search for