In the new retail era of medicine, how should pharmacies join the Internet?


Release time:

2018-07-25

Recently, the National Health Commission and the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine issued a notice, deciding to carry out "Internet medical and health" activities to facilitate the people and benefit the people in the entire industry, requiring the use of Internet information technology to transform and optimize the diagnosis and treatment process, and through the diagnosis before, during and after diagnosis. All links, this is also a further measure to promote the implementation of the "Opinions on Promoting the Development of" Internet Medical Health.

Two weeks ago, the Shanghai Medical Insurance Supervision Institute was planning to improve the scope of technology application based on the results of the "face recognition" pilot evaluation and application, and to provide evidence clues for the arrest of fraudulent drug dealers. It is expected to complete 100 large-scale chains by the end of September this year. "Face recognition" control of retail pharmacies. This is one of the latest cases of applying Internet technology to pharmacies. Of course, for pharmacies, the difficult problem that their operators hope to solve is: on the road of adding the Internet, how to do addition is more beneficial to pharmacies?

In April this year, the General Office of the State Council officially issued the "Opinions on Promoting the Development of" Internet Medical Health "". These opinions clearly stipulate support for "telemedicine", "health consultation", and "prescriptions for common and chronic diseases issued online. Companies can entrust qualified third-party agencies to deliver", etc., and also require the promotion of "Internet medical security settlement services". These measures have added confidence to the Internet of pharmacies. However, confidence does not mean that it will win, at least on the road of the Internet, pharmacies are still in the exploratory stage.

  Passive or active addition?

In the initial stage of "touching the net", many pharmacies are entangled with a question: should it be an Internet pharmacy or an Internet pharmacy? From the actual performance of pharmacies, most of them choose the former.

In September 2014, Shijiazhuang's emerging pharmacy became the first cooperative chain pharmacy to provide electronic prescription services for Ali Health APP. As Ali Health provided subsidies to pharmacies, this model was rapidly promoted nationwide. However, with the cancellation of subsidies, the enthusiasm of pharmacy employees to cooperate also decreased.

Then in October of the following year, Ali Health launched the "Ali Health Future Pharmacy Partner Program" with more than 100 pharmacies across the country, hoping to cooperate with pharmacies in the form of partners to provide pharmacies with traffic, tools and services and jointly build a B2C online to offline operation platform. This move has been followed by some other e-commerce companies, and even provides services such as site selection and training of shop assistants. Since then, the O2O delivery of drugs in cooperation with e-commerce has also flourished. For these e-commerce companies to take the initiative to "throw their arms" behavior, pharmacies hold the attitude of trying to come, the result is not very effective.

It is understood that the online sales of many mainstream chain pharmacies mainly come from the flagship stores opened in "Tmall". On the surface, pharmacies take the initiative, but in fact they are pushed by the trend. In order not to be "out of date" in the Internet era, pharmacies are scrambling to apply for the qualification certificate of Internet drug trading service, but they have not done much after obtaining the certificate, and their sales contribution is limited. Cross-border e-commerce is no exception. Although pharmacies are more active in cross-border e-commerce, this model is still imitated, and there are few chain pharmacies that try this model.

On the whole, at this stage, the "touch the net" of pharmacies is basically a "test water" nature. They only know that the Internet is the general trend, and they have not figured out what they need. But after a period of exploration, the pharmacy Internet has gradually become the mainstream. The difference is that the active party has become a pharmacy. The same is that there is not much change in the model, but some personalized factors have been added.

Improve service or achieve incremental?

Regardless of the effectiveness of the pharmacy initiative, it is the general trend for pharmacies to embrace the Internet. On July 12, Yixintang announced that its holding subsidiary Yixintang Kangdun would cooperate with Aikang Guobin to set up Yunnan Aikang Guobin to set up health examination and health management industries. Yixintang Kangdun contributed 22 million yuan with its own funds, holding 44% of the shares. In the view of industry insiders, Yixintang's move is to learn from foreign drugstore giant Walgreens and actively transform from traditional drugstores to the role of health steward, including providing diversified services such as telemedicine and health management APP to enhance users' stickiness, with the aim of occupying the commanding heights in the future competition.

In recent years, there have been more and more Internet projects aimed at upgrading the retail pharmacy model, such as the earliest Guangdong Internet Hospital, Wuzhen Internet Hospital, and the Wuzhou model that has received attention. The desired goal is to improve the management level of retail pharmacies, and at the same time empower retail pharmacies to provide pharmaceutical services to consumers online in the future.

It is understood that at present, the number of pharmacies cooperating with Guangdong Provincial Network Hospital has exceeded 20000. If we look at the sales of electronic prescriptions generated by each store every day, most of them are within 10 pieces, but what pharmacies value is not sales, but the improvement of their professional ability to undertake prescriptions, which will be laid out in the big "cake" brought about by the outflow of prescriptions in the future ". The reason why the Wuzhou model has attracted attention is that there are not many things that pharmacies need to do, and they can benefit by joining this ranks. This also allows most pharmacies to see the hope of future sales growth.

In terms of empowerment, Internet tools can benefit pharmacies a lot. They can effectively solve the problems of remote supervision, passenger flow statistics, hot spot analysis, etc. of chain pharmacies, help pharmacies improve operational efficiency, control costs, and realize online training and flat management. On June 28, the "Sunshine Pharmacy" APP was launched in the 28th largest pharmacy of Beijing Haofast Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. Although it was developed by the Food and Drug Administration of Haidian District of Beijing for real-time monitoring of pharmacies, it also reserved corresponding windows for each pharmacy to display and share information such as store characteristics and promotional activities, so as to improve the data-based operation level of pharmacies, further optimize the business environment and empower retail pharmacies.

  Homeopathic change or short-term optimization?

In the era of new pharmaceutical retail, how to add the Internet of pharmacies, in addition to investment considerations, also need to be based on the future competitiveness of the building, from the policy environment and market environment to do double consideration.

At present, the outflow of prescriptions is the general trend. What kind of Internet tools are needed to connect with hospitals or third-party platforms? This is what pharmacies need to deal. However, there are also some uncertain factors in the outflow of prescriptions, and some factors even have a relatively large impact, such as classified and hierarchical management. If it is rated as a first-class pharmacy, it means that increasing the investment in Internet tools will be wasted.

From the perspective of the market environment, the creation of "Healthy China" and the aging of the population will lead to a substantial increase in consumer demand for pharmacy pharmaceutical services. Implanting doctor resources in hospitals and building a health management platform are the necessary ways and essential for pharmacies. Indispensable means.

The development of the Internet and technology itself is a process of constantly solving problems. The younger generation with the growth of smart phones will eventually become the main consumer group of pharmacies, and there must be more room for the use of Internet tools. At a time when pharmacies are in a period of rapid integration, the strong are stronger, which means that these chain pharmacies will have more financial strength and the ability to integrate resources in these areas. How to integrate pharmacies with the Internet and to what extent, whether it is for the normal operation of competition or based on the long-term development in the future, need to be reconsidered.