Is this the Uber of pharmacies?


Customers may be able to order their medications through an app in the near future if a new US idea hits Australian shores.

A New York pharmacist has created an app that allows customers to order their medication online, which is then delivered by a bicycle courier to most locations in the city.

The pharmacist, with a co-founder, has created a company called Capsule that brands itself as the “pharmacy of the future”.

It claims to handle communication with insurers and GPs for refills, and informs users of costs before they finalise their prescription order.

Capsule also asks people ordering new medication to contact their GP to send a prescription to the business.

“Pharmacists are the victors in all of this,” says co-founder and pharmacist Sonia Patel.

“I learned over time the pain points that pharmacies and pharmacists have to deal with. Understaffed pharmacies can impact. They don’t give the attention to patients that they deserve.

“[We have] dynamic inventory management, population analysis and we’re able to proactively do smart refills to make sure the meds are there,” she adds.

Along with Patel and CEO Eric Kinariwala, Capsule also employs 20 staff members, a number they expect to grow as the business scales.

While they have a brick-and-mortar building with pharmacists on staff and stocks of medication, it’s a pharmacy that the customer never has to visit.

The closest Australia has to this idea are the apps eRx Script Exchange and MedAdvisor, which allow users to order prescriptions.

However, medications still need to be picked up in person at a chosen pharmacy, and accounts must be activated by a pharmacist or doctor before they can be used.

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