Sunday, October 11, 2015

Online pharmacy stores: Miles to go before they reap



With everyone buying everything online these days and with me currently taking 17 pills every day, I thought it might be worth checking out online pharmacy stores. I asked around for and was recommended MedPlus Mart. I also happened to see a Zigy ad somewhere and thought I would try that as well.

First MedPlus Mart. The account creation was fairly straightforward. One thing that bothered me however was that I had to enter my login and password every time. There was no option that remembered me which has become a fairly standard feature on websites.

The interface to order medicines was fairly good. You start typing the name of the medicine and it matches the name with a list of actual medicines and then you select the medicine you want. You then type in the quantity. If one of their stores close enough to you has it you can add it to your cart or you are told that the medicine is not available or that quantity is not available. You are then given an option to enter your mobile number and email address with a promise that you would be contacted should the med become available later.

On multiple occasions, one of the meds I take regularly had only 1 strip available. I entered both my mobile number and email address but never got contacted. Strangely enough, after a few days, if I went to the site and looked it up again, it would again be available but only one strip. A few days back, when I tried they had 4 strips.

The delivery is fairly prompt, even if not within the promised 6 hours or less. On one occasion, it took more than 24 hours.

You have options to scan and upload your prescription or show your prescription when you collect the meds yourself. I obviously chose to scan and upload and have them delivered to me. Duh.

They give a 15% discount for orders above Rs. 1000 and 10% for orders worth less than that.

Next up, Zigy. Well, I never got down to getting anything from them. Their process to check the prescription was so freakin' complicated. I uploaded the same prescription that I used for MedPlus Mart. They said they would verify it and revert. Then I got a call after a few hours saying that the number of days for which I had to take the meds was not stated in the prescription. I explained to him that I was on these meds for a long time and had to take them on a continuous basis. Everyone with a chronic condition had to take meds like forever. Doctors don't write that on the prescription.

They wanted me to go back to the doctor and have him state this specifically on my prescription. I refused. The saga ended there.

I explained to the guy who called that they needed to change their rules and make them more flexible in India. The guy apologised. Call centre folks do that a lot. Thanks and Sorry.

I am continuing with MedPlus Mart for now. Despite the rough edges, at least I can get stuff from them.

9 comments:

Sridhar said...

I am also using Mediplusmart.com from last few months. It is convenient & easy to get all tablets at one place.

Dr. Arjun said...

I was able to order prescription medicine on ZIGY site easily.
As per the existing laws, it is mandatory to mention expiry date of prescription, which none of the existing pharmacists checks. Regular check with Doctor on medicine is always advisable.
Can not blame ZIGY for following the rules.

Anonymous said...

Hi,
Do you get all your medications from them, or only some. Some medications are good to get from the distributor direct, since I get almost a 40% discount on EPO shots direct from the ditributor. Do Medplus offer varying discounts on diff items or a bulk 15%?

Kamal Shah said...

I get all my medications from them. I don't take any EPO. Yes, for things like EPO, it does not make sense. MEdplus offers bulk 15% for all orders above Rs. 1000.

manojag said...

Hey Kamal,
if you are taking so many pills, it would be a good idea to get in touch with the MR of the concerned co and he will hook you up with the distributor and you will get a very good deal, may be 30% off. Trust me as Iam getting it here in Jaipur.
manoj

Anonymous said...

Hi Kamal,

Does Medplus do home delivery or we are supposed to collect the medicines from their stor?

Kamal Shah said...

They do home delivery.

Rk sreedharan said...

Thank you Mr.Shah. I am also a H D patient for the last 9 years. Some time I am unable to met my medical need because few of them new to the market. Now iam fully satisfied. Thank you sir.By the By I am sreedharan your guest from Coimbatore.

Rk sreedharan said...

Thank you Mr.Shah. I am also a H D patient for the last 9 years. Some time I am unable to met my medical need because few of them new to the market. Now iam fully satisfied. Thank you sir.By the By I am sreedharan your guest from Coimbatore.