Pakistan is successfully progressing in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector online. The online pharmacies are running smoothing with an increasing number of sales; however, there are several challenges that the online pharmacies are facing in Pakistan.
Due to the infectious coronavirus, the rise in the availability of medicines has been increased. The atrocious pandemic has increased the demand for drugs not only in Pakistan but also in other countries. Pakistan has been a developing country, faces many challenges in the pharmacy product supplies.
The rise in the high demand for healthcare products has increased physically in pharmacies; however, most people turned towards online pharmacies. An increasing number of orders also cause significant hurdles for the online pharmacies in Pakistan.
Challenges to Online Pharmacies in Pakistan
Many operative Pakistani online pharmacy stores regulate medicinal drugs like prescribed and OTC daily and are also providing online consultations to meet the needs of the patients. Apart from challenges, there are many benefits that online pharmacies are providing; the most significant advantage is the ease of getting the product at the doorstep conveniently without going out in this pandemic.
The high potential of online pharmacies has been observed during 2020, where the people are satisfied with online services. But the challenges that the online pharmacies are facing in Pakistan are:
- To meet the high demand for medicines online.
- Shortage of safety medicinal products
- Online high-price items
- Counterfeit products by fake brands
- Lack of trust of people towards online pharmacies
- Frauds and Limitations
- Online payment frauds
- Late deliveries due to lockdowns
- High competition
- Lack of standard policies (selling medicines without a prescription)
- Online consultation with the doctor
The demand for drugs is high, but the supply like deliveries has also increased in the market for prescribed medicines, OTC drugs, and healthcare products.
The WHO, has ordered to follow the SOPs during COVID-19, whereas the use of hand sanitizer, washing hands with germs-free hand washes, wearing a mask is requested. The shortage of PPEs, masks, hand sanitizers, and other safety medicinal products has been faced by the online pharmacies of Pakistan as well as the physical pharmacies that also face these issues.
The fraud not only occurs in the form of high-pricing; however, the scams of supplying of in-active or counterfeit medicines which can harm a person or can perform in terms of not treating the medical issue actively, are also happening. The unauthentic online pharmacies should be ban online.
The authentic pharmacies are facing a massive challenge due to the unauthentic online pharmacy platforms who are selling the medicines at low rates than the market because the drugs are fake and sold at low prices just to increase sales.
The lack of standard policies for selling medicines without prescription that can cause great harm to anyone’s life is present. Healthcare supplies of online pharmacies should also be tested, and there should be a check and balance for these medicines and other healthcare products. Pharmacies are facing challenges to sell the medication after receiving prescriptions as patients or customers usually do not want to share it.
The online consultation with the doctor has many issues where the doctor only prescribed the medicine on the basis of the patient’s description and not by properly checking out the patient physically. Limitations for online internet facilities in small villages are also difficult and disconnecting of the singles cause issue for online pharmacies and their consultants.
Late Delivery of Medicines
This is termed to be a major challenge that Online pharmacy in Pakistan is facing. Some of the authentic online pharmacies have their own delivery services; however, others have assured a safe delivery with the trusted courier partners. The deliveries are usually available nationwide but take time due to the issues of a lockdown or the increasing number of orders.