How do I Start my Own Online Pharmacy Business?

Harriette Halepis

Over the past few years, online pharmacies have sprung up all over the Internet. While this business was certainly booming for awhile, some governments have begun to crack down on these businesses. Therefore, in order to start an online pharmacy business you will have to be aware of a couple of recent laws.

Medications from an online pharmacy.
Medications from an online pharmacy.

When the concept of an online pharmacy was first born, many pharmacies were allowing anyone to purchase medications — with or without a prescription. Obviously, obtaining medication without a prescription posed a number of problems. As a result, some governments, including the United States Government, worked towards changing the availability of drugs to random consumers.

Internet pharmacies must employ licensed pharmacists.
Internet pharmacies must employ licensed pharmacists.

Today, in order to purchase any kind of drug from an online pharmacy, patients must have a medical prescription. While basic pharmacy goods, such as toothpaste and deodorant, can be purchased without a prescription, medications cannot. In addition, every online pharmacy business must have a pharmacist on staff. If you are not trained as a pharmacist or medical doctor, then you cannot open an online pharmacy without a medically trained professional on hand.

Patients must have a medical prescription in order to purchase drugs from an online pharmacy.
Patients must have a medical prescription in order to purchase drugs from an online pharmacy.

Aside from the matters mentioned above, running any online pharmacy business means understanding international laws. Some countries will not allow citizens to purchase certain types of drugs, and some countries do not allow online drug purchasing at all. Violating any kind of international law can result in serious legal troubles.

The best way to set up an online pharmacy is to speak with a business lawyer. These professionals can guide you through the pharmacy business process. Also, a trained lawyer can tell you all about the legalities of selling drugs over the Internet. Another good way to gain the information that you need is to visit your government's website.

Frequently, governments will provide business grants to certain individuals. When you apply for this type of grant, any legal concerns will be addressed immediately. You may also find that some governments list online pharmacy business information on a government website. Since this type of business is popular, detailed information is often available.

While opening up an online pharmacy can be lucrative, this type of venture can also be risky. Before you begin to sell prescription drugs on the Internet, make sure that you know all about global laws. Keep in mind that selling medication to individuals can be dangerous unless you have the proper medical experts working for you.

Ordering prescription medications online is becoming more and more popular.
Ordering prescription medications online is becoming more and more popular.

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Discussion Comments


I want to open an online pharmacy business, even though I am not a qualified pharmacist. Please tell me what are the legal requirements for the online pharmacy business? In Himachal there is no such business, so I am completely unable to understand this. Please help me. -- Shishir S.


@ammy: One exception. Drop shipping to someone other than the person that the medication is intended for is illegal. Like, if I open an online pharmacy and have the medication drop shipped to me and then i ship it to Mr. Smith who ordered the medication. It has to go straight to Mr. Smith. Otherwise it violates the OBRA law of 1990.


Starting an own online pharmacy might be difficult to start. Since you need to have contact with most manufacturers, stocking medications, shipping and there are so many difficulties that you might have to face.

There are two simple ways to own online pharmacy

1. Become an affiliate of an online pharmacy

2. Have an online pharmacy website and get your orders fulfilled by other online pharmacy. That is available by drop ship facility.

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