Latest study finds pharmacists in favour of online channels for wider reach

A new survey undertaken by Medicspot draws attention to online channels established to reach a wider audience, it however highlights online dispensing being a continual threat. The results of the study were part of a wider ‘State of Pharmacy’ report published by Medicspot and supported by the NPA. It especially focuses on the urgent trends in the field of pharmacy.

The latest study is supported by the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) and concludes that about two-thirds of pharmacists (66%) find online presence significantly important, whereas 28% consider it is “fairly important”. Only 7% of pharmacists found it not necessarily important for their pharmacy to have an online presence.

In addition, 54% wish to sell products and services online this year, whereas over two-thirds of pharmacists (67%) consider online dispensing as a threat rather than an opportunity.

In the wake of the new study, Saam Ali, chief executive officer of Pharmacy Mentor commented, “It’s never been more important for a pharmacy to have an online presence”, saying “Your NHS Choices profile is very important but if you want to grow as a business in 2020 and promote your offerings, such as your in-house online doctor or travel clinic, or your free prescription delivery service, then a website is a must.”

Furthermore, the Medicspot also highlighted that pharmacies in England are eligible for an NHS Choice, where they find access to news updates, can list their opening hours, phone number and services. However many of the websites are “poorly optimized”, despite this opportunity.

Ali explained, “a website costing you £99 is the worst thing you can do. You must invest in a flexible, optimised and mobile-friendly site that is connected to analytics if you’re serious about your business and its future.”

In addition, the survey concluded majority of pharmacists have their own website (65%) and use social media (63%) to promote their pharmacies online.