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Prescription circulation re-shaping the new ecology of retail

  Since November last year, the General Department of the State Food and Drug Administration issued the "Measures for the Supervision and Administration of Online Drug Sales (Draft for Comments)" for public comment, the topic of online drug sales has quickly become the focus of hot discussion in the pharmaceutical circle。Just concluded the national "two sessions", many representatives, members of the motion, the proposal is to "conditions to allow the online sale of prescription drugs, online drug sellers to carry out more diversified forms of discussion" and other topics to climax。

  C terminal invited authoritative experts, association leaders and brand chain drugstores to offer suggestions and suggestions to seek a new pattern of online drug sales。

Naginaga Sakane Associate Professor, Center for Health Management and Policy Research, Shandong University, Key Laboratory of Health Economics and Policy Research, National Health Commission
Zheng Haotao Executive Chairman of Guangdong Pharmaceutical Retail Industry Association
Zhou Shuangcai President of Anhui Pharmaceutical Retail Industry Association
Guo Caihong Chairman and general manager of Hunan Jiuzhitang Pharmaceutical Co., LTD., Chairman of Hunan Jiuzhitang retail chain Company
Qin Guangxia President of Suyu Civilian Pharmacy Chain Co., LTD


Prescription sharing platform is the trend


Based on the vigorous development of physical hospitals and Internet hospitals, electronic prescription is on the rise, and several major listed pharmacy chains are also building their own Internet hospitals。How to view the changes brought about by out-of-hospital prescription circulation?

  Zheng Haotao:From the latest implementation of the "two management measures" and the "Drug Network sales supervision and management Measures (draft for comments)" and other comprehensive policies, prescription outflow will be further accelerated。Especially after the comprehensive expansion of the volume purchase, the sales of prescription drugs in retail pharmacies continue to increase。At present, large chain pharmacies have also begun to lay out Internet hospitals, thereby reducing the cost of obtaining each prescription, and prescription outflow is the general trend。
  The formation of this trend is reshaping the development pattern of pharmaceutical retail terminals。For example, on the one hand, the reform of medical insurance personal accounts will shrink the proportion of consumption of non-drugs, medical equipment, health care and other categories, and the consumption of the original medical insurance personal accounts in pharmacies will decrease, but objectively speaking, the impact is limited, because the New Deal has opened the door to the medical insurance pharmacies, and the door to the application qualification, and the slow disease pharmacy and DTP pharmacy have ushered in a good news。The typical characteristic of this is that the proportion of sales of OTC drugs will decrease, while the sales of prescription drugs will increase。
  Qin Guangxia:At present, retail enterprises should sell prescription drugs online through the Internet hospital platform approved by the Health Commission, registered medical practitioners or assistant medical practitioners to issue electronic prescriptions, to ensure the effectiveness and safety of prescription sources, which is being piloted in Shandong。The Guangxi model is the electronic prescription circulation under the prescription sharing platform, which is the outflow of hospital prescriptions. Patients buy drugs with hospital prescriptions in out-of-hospital pharmacies, and medical insurance drugs can be reimbursed。
  Prescription sharing platform is the development direction in line with the trend of medical insurance reform。With the further opening of online drug sales, cross-regional drug purchases will also be more diversified, prescriptions will be issued through Internet hospitals, and "online booking store" or "online booking store delivery" will be implemented through the online sales platform of chain enterprises.。

Full scene competitive multi-dimensional start

How does the retail terminal face the new channel integration and meet the market demand in multiple dimensions?

  Zhou Shuangcai:Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus epidemic, the development of Internet hospitals has reached an unprecedented new stage, and some enterprises have actively laid out their plans。If retail pharmacies can effectively seize this opportunity and organically combine "medicine + medicine", they can make up for the impact of quantity procurement on pharmacies and some drug shortages in hospitals。In addition, affected by the change of medical insurance policy, if the pharmacy still according to the current business model, the profit will undoubtedly be smaller and smaller。
  In the future, with the volume of procurement and prescription circulation open to pharmacies, the requirements for pharmacy practitioners will be greatly increased, and the first thing pharmacies should do is to improve their professional ability, and licensed pharmacists should also be on par with the level of hospital pharmacists。However, due to the large difference in the level of each pharmacy, the quantity of purchased drugs should be conditionally released according to the level of the pharmacy in order to better undertake pharmaceutical care。
  Guo Caihong:Through these two years of continuous layout, Jiuzhitang has launched cooperation with a number of Internet hospitals。As a new form of business, Internet hospital can effectively solve the problem of the shortage of hospitals and doctors, and improve the efficiency of the use of medical resources through remote consultation and prescription。However, at this stage, the frequency of use of Internet hospitals and the closeness of cooperation with retail pharmacies still have considerable room for development, and it is necessary to further guide the consumption habits of the market, improve the level of professionalism, and solve the needs of patients。
  Qin Guangxia:Pharmacy chains have partnered with Internet hospitals on prescription platforms to solve the long-standing embarrassment of retail pharmacies selling prescription drugs from prescription-free sources。In addition to stores, retail terminals can implement omni-channel layout, self-build or cooperate with third-party platforms to meet the health needs of different age groups and different consumer groups。In general, online more consider the diversified and personalized needs of young and middle-aged consumer groups, offline more consider the sense of experience and compliance of middle-aged and elderly consumer groups, and provide warm care。Retail terminals can try to build more health services and experience services, such as chronic disease management, health experience, health testing, etc。Through the deep integration of online and offline, to achieve accurate customer access, promote the "online booking store pick up" and "online booking store send" model, omni-channel to meet customer needs, improve customer experience。

Balance "diversion" and "profit"


How will the category structure of pharmacies change in the future as online drug sales speed up?

  Zheng Haotao:In the context of medical insurance control costs and volume procurement, the increase in prescription drug sales will increase the overall sales of pharmacies, but the profit will decline, and the absolute gross profit of pharmacies in the future will be the key to make up for the profit reduction of prescription drugs in exchange for price and volume to a certain extent。The increase of absolute gross profit is mainly determined by two factors: one is the number of customers entering a single store;Second, the transaction volume and transaction frequency of a single customer。Under the premise of prescription dispensing, the single store output of chain pharmacies will be higher and higher in the future, but the number of stores will be relatively reduced, which will be one of the important characteristics of the pharmacy circle。In this process, the pharmaceutical retail industry will accelerate the reshuffle, and the category structure will accelerate the reshaping。
  In addition, because the regulation of prescription drug online sales still needs to be improved, the threat of online distribution is also looming over physical stores。The addition of platforms such as Meituan and Pinduoduo has made it more and more difficult to push non-just-needed varieties。At present, many retail pharmacies are facing the dilemma of profit growth reaching the peak and passenger flow declining. How to find a balance between "drainage" and "profit" is a problem that retail pharmacies must think about。
  For pharmacies, they should actively change marketing strategies, adjust management methods, broaden sales channels, and achieve breakthroughs in professional services and health management, resource integration and cost reduction。In particular, Guangdong Province, as a large province of retail pharmacies, has taken the lead in implementing simultaneous reporting of hospitals and pharmacies, so it is more necessary to professionally enhance passenger flow and trust to increase customer unit prices。Among them, traditional Chinese medicine will be the new driving force for the future development of pharmacies。At present, in the retail industry, traditional Chinese medicine and traditional Chinese medicine decoction pieces, tonic health products accounted for about 15% to 16% of the total sales of pharmacies, bird's nest, cordyceps, ginseng antler and other products contributed higher profits to chain pharmacies, these are still one of the most popular categories of pharmacy customers, worth refining and exploring potential。
  Zhou Shuangcai:The structure of online and offline drug categories will change greatly, and after prescription circulation is released, pharmacies need to be equipped with drugs issued by hospitals to meet patients' drug needs。At the same time, due to the zero addition of hospital drugs, the profits of these drugs will be thinner, and pharmacies need to strengthen the diversification of products and services, such as playing a role in the direction of "treating no disease" and rehabilitation, providing chronic disease management, medicine and food products。
  Guo Caihong:Under the adjustment of medical insurance policy, pharmacies should develop at both sides, one is to seize the "treatment of disease" market, and the other is to extend the "treatment of disease" field。Based on this, drugstore categories will definitely be differentiated and form their own characteristics。The online categories mainly include commonly used drugs, health products, traditional Chinese medicine decoction pieces with the same origin as medicine and food, family planning supplies, household medical devices, etc。The offline categories mainly include children's drugs, diabetes, cardiovascular and other chronic disease prescription drugs, and drugs with special storage requirements。
  In this regard, retail pharmacies should think about how to better meet the market demand, that is, customer demand。According to the changes in customer demand, store positioning, change service means, and integrate online and offline advantages, highlight the characteristics of retail stores, and provide high-quality products and professional services。

According to the draft, B2B transactions of TCM decoction pieces also need to be managed according to drugs。What is the impact on the current B2B trade fair of decoction pieces?What are the opportunities for retail enterprises that have the qualification of selling drugs online?

  Zhou Shuangcai:B2B transaction by drug management will strengthen the quality traceability of TCM decoction pieces, more and more standardized sales behavior, contribute to the healthy development of the TCM decoction pieces market。In the future, the online sales of TCM decoction pieces will become a trend, which will be conducive to expanding market channels for retail pharmacies. In order to obtain market opportunities, pharmacies need to do a good job in quality management and standardized operation。
  Guo Caihong:TCM decoction pieces are a big category of drugs and should be managed according to drug standards。However, the quality of medicinal materials varies greatly from place to place, and there is still a certain gap between the quality level of the whole TCM decoction pieces and the drafting standard。It can be observed that most of the enterprises currently engaged in B2B business are focused on exquisite Chinese medicine decoction pieces with a high degree of standardization, and if the Chinese medicine decoction pieces market wants to do large-scale, it must not only achieve standardized management, but also formulate policies based on the actual market situation。Retail pharmacies, as one of the distribution channels, need to strictly control the quality of TCM decoction pieces。Taking Jiuzhitang as an example, the double blind bidding method is mainly used to double check the quality and price。For online trading, because consumers may only be sensitive to price and can not judge the quality of traditional Chinese medicine pieces, they should treat the online market carefully, and avoid pursuing low prices and reducing quality。

It is urgent to improve professional pharmaceutical care

The draft proposes that the number of licensed pharmacists should be commensurate with the scale of operation, and how can it be considered appropriate?

  Inaga Sakone:There is a big difference in the operation of online and offline pharmacies. Offline pharmacies can only sell drugs in a certain space, while online pharmacies can sell drugs in the entire network, and the operation space is infinite。For how to equip licensed pharmacists online, it is obviously not reasonable to agree on conventional factors such as business scale, area and sales revenue。It may be more appropriate to equip licensed pharmacists according to the varieties and categories of pharmacies, such as Chinese medicine and Western medicine each need to be equipped with a licensed pharmacist, or reach a certain number of varieties need to match the corresponding proportion of licensed pharmacists。

Can the artificial intelligence big data auxiliary verification system play a role in it?

  Inaga Sakone:Whether the demand for licensed pharmacists will increase depends on how much the number of online pharmacies will increase in the future。This mainly depends on the entry threshold requirements of online pharmacies and local policy approval standards;The second is whether the licensed pharmacists of online and offline pharmacies can be shared, which will also affect the number of licensed pharmacists。From the general trend, the number of online pharmacies will increase, and the requirements for licensed pharmacists will continue to improve。As the application of artificial intelligence and big data becomes more mature, it will be faster and more accurate in reviewing the standardization and legitimacy of prescriptions。However, it is necessary for licensed pharmacists to use professional knowledge to review whether the drug use is reasonable and conforms to the principles of clinical pharmacy, and provide humanized pharmaceutical care。Therefore, artificial intelligence and licensed pharmacists need to do a good job of division of labor and cooperation, so that consumers realize the value of pharmacists。
  Zhou Shuangcai:Generally speaking, licensed pharmacists need to be equipped with factors such as the size of the enterprise, store area, and whether to sell prescription drugs。Moreover, some DTP pharmacies and if they undertake prescription outflow and chronic disease medical insurance fixed points in the future, the requirements for licensed pharmacists will be relatively high。In the future, once the online sale of drugs is liberalized, the role of licensed pharmacists will be more critical, especially when prescribing prescription drugs, licensed pharmacists need to continuously improve their professional capabilities。The application of artificial intelligence and big data can indeed meet certain regulatory requirements, but if you simply rely on these new technologies, it is obviously not enough, and licensed pharmacists need to play a professional pharmaceutical service。

Open degree, standardized management


The draft proposes that the third-party platform should promptly stop and immediately report to the local county-level drug regulatory department if it finds that the drug online seller has violated laws and regulations。How do you see the competition between third-party platforms and traditional pharmacies?

  Inaga Sakone:Basically, the third-party platform will master the big data of online drug sales, and the third-party platform and the drugstore belong to the business relationship, and the cooperation agreement will be signed。Therefore, when the third-party platform finds the problem, it can warn the pharmacy and submit some key evidence to the regulatory authorities, which should be a better regulatory model。
  For the regulatory authorities, it is more difficult to put the regulatory object and energy on each drugstore。On the contrary, the supervision focus on third-party platforms and their management can effectively reduce the risk of entering pharmacies。However, it should be noted that the third-party platform and the pharmacy are a community of interests after all, so we need to think about how to make the third-party platform more motivated to supervise the pharmacy and help its compliance development。
  Guo Caihong:The development of online pharmaceutical retail market by third-party platforms is in line with the development trend of the industry and market demand, and also provides online development opportunities for offline traditional pharmacies。Of course, the rapid development of the online drug market is bound to have a certain impact on traditional offline sales。For the sustainable development of the industry, third-party platforms and retail pharmacies should be encouraged to compete and deepen cooperation to form a complementary relationship。At the same time, due to the behavior of low-price competition and passenger flow in the online market, drugs are special commodities. In order not to affect the quality level, the regulatory authorities need to impose relevant constraints on third-party platforms and pharmacies。

Online sale of drugs has brought new challenges to drug supervision in the new era, how do you think to avoid risks?

  Zheng Haotao:Selling drugs online opens up new territory for pharmacies, but also new problems。Prescription circulation through a shared platform, standardized management is more important。The exploration in Beijing, Ningxia and other places has proved that prescription dispensing must be standardized and traceable。It is worth noting that in the context of the Internet +, cross-regional prescription is also possible, if only OTC products are OK, but if it is prescription drugs, territorial supervision issues need to be particularly cautious, it is recommended to try to do online booking, cross-regional logistics will be at risk。Therefore, online drug sales need to be liberalized and regulated。
(2021/3/23 8:33:27 Read 13992 times)

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