Build an online platform to connect customers with local independent pharmacies
Often embedded within communities, local pharmacies offer much more than just products on a shelf – trained pharmacists provide individual, on-the-spot consultations, offering unrivalled access to valuable primary care. This has become even more apparent since the COVID-19 pandemic, with a recent UK survey finding that 69% of people were now more likely to consider (pharmacy-supported) self-care as their first option for less serious issues, ahead of family doctors and hospital emergency departments.
Belgium has one of the highest densities of pharmacies in Europe, with one pharmacy for approximately every 2,300 inhabitants.
However, despite this seemingly ‘healthy’ number, the reality shows the gradual disappearance of local independent pharmacies, who struggle to compete with large chains that offer cheaper prices and that dominate the online marketplace – according to APB, the Belgian pharmaceutical association, around 50 pharmacies go out of business each year.
Farmaxx saw the need for a platform to help these smaller players survive and thrive. They wanted to give independent pharmacies a convenient way to extend their business and services to the internet, while at the same time giving customers the best price and the personalised service they value. Added to this, they wanted to offer pharmaceutical companies an efficient way to reach local pharmacies, which could in turn create the kind of critical mass that could keep prices attractive.
With Farmaxx’s business model hinging on the convergence of all three value propositions, they needed a comprehensive platform that would successfully integrate a lot of functionality, on a bootstrapped budget compared to the online giants. And with the constantly evolving regulatory landscape around online pharmaceuticals, they needed to act fast.