Q: As a pharmacy, what have been the greatest lessons of working with a digital business model?
JC: Our business model is new for Mexico and Colombia, which has resulted in specific challenges. The consumer is increasingly sophisticated and demanding in matters of health, including pharmacies. At the same time, we see how the industry is changing to adapt to new technologies. Today, we see how the consumer has an impact on the processes of distribution, consumption and the manufacture of medicines.
JM: Farmalisto offers a very accessible supply of products and shipping, which in complex cities such as Mexico City and Bogota become very attractive. At Farmalisto, the consumer has the comfort, speed and security that he needs to obtain his medications.
Q: Why is Farmalisto the ideal ally for companies in the pharmaceutical industry looking to increase their sales through e-commerce?
A: JC: Farmalisto provides convenience. Farmalisto aftersales services are valuable for the industry. Usually, pharmacies only provide the medication and leave the treatment in the patient’s hands. At Farmalisto, we provide follow-up, reminders and additional services to encourage the adoption of treatment. If the patient’s treatment requires a nurse, a doctor or a psychologist, we send it to him or her so that the adherence is guaranteed. This benefits both the pharmacist and the patient.
JM: The lack of efficacy with pharmaceutical treatments is due to the lack of compliance to the treatment. Traditional pharmacies are limited at improving adherence because they only sell medicines and do not follow-up with the patient while pharmaceutical companies, by law, cannot contact patients/customers. We are that key point between them. Farmalisto can sell the medications and at the same time follow up with the patient, so if we guarantee a greater adherence to the treatment at the same time, we are guaranteeing that the pharmaceutical product is sold in the market.
Q: What steps does Farmalisto take to increase customer safety and data security? How does this impact your e-commerce services?
JM: Normally, the first time the patient orders from us, he pays us cash on delivery, but once the client knows and trusts us, they migrate to other payment methods
and consumption behaviors. We are very careful with patient information and we only use it to know the market, the treatment adherence and the position of a brand, among others. The information we share is to provide pharmaceutical companies with data on consumer behavior and the characteristics related to their brand.
JC: The health sector is very delicate and highly regulated, in addition to the fact that the population that consumes the highest percentage of pharmaceutical products (the elderly) is not so digitally savvy. Our data is secure, encrypted and separated in repositories outside of Mexico that are not accessible from anywhere in the world except from our offices. Everything we share is anonymous, depersonalized or with explicit authorization from the patient.
Q: What potential use do the data collected by your platform have for the providers and partners with whom you work?
JC: The information we collect helps us to understand trends in the market and even detect disease outbreaks. Our data is useful for pharmaceutical companies to organize their demand planning and distribution points. Also, it opens the door for us to venture into new projects, such as telemedicine, Big Data and market pre-condition services.
JM: Farmalisto can detect disease outbreaks because we receive information in real time. We know when there is a spike in demand for certain medications in certain areas and help pharmacies supply the necessary medications on time.
Farmalisto is the largest online pharmacy in Latin America. It has offices in Mexico and Colombia and offers medicines and products for the treatment of health and the improvement of the quality of life of patients
Industry Analyst and Journalist at Mexico Business Publishing