Response to PakWired Article

RE: PakWired article – Sehat.com.pk (SEHAT online pharmacy)

Mr. Hummayun Javed:

In reference to the above article posted on September 12, 2014 (http://pakwired.com/sehat-buy-medicine-online/), we would first like to express our appreciation for your review. However, we believe there are several points that we would like clarify regarding our services and business model:

SEO Limitation

You mention in your article that our “website doesn’t show up on the first page if one searches for ‘[Pakistan] online pharmacy’ on Google.” We would like to point out that a major reason for this has been a policy change by Google regarding the promotion of online or internet pharmacies.

For further information, please visit this link:

https://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/answer/176031?hl=en#apply

We are currently trying to obtain an exemption for this policy from Google as we are a legitimate and licensed pharmacy. We hope to resolve this matter soon.

Target Market

While our business model cannot cater to a person who needs medicine immediately or on a short term basis (e.g., a customer needs aspirin or acetaminophen for a headache they are having at work), these customers are not our core target demographic.

The customers who would most benefit from our services would be chronic medicine users, i.e., people who need a regular supply of medicines for a recurring or persistent condition. These customers account for up to 70% of annual pharmaceutical sales, covering a range of chronic conditions such as diabetes, thyroid disorders, allergies, skin diseases, or heart disease.

Chronic medicine users would benefit from our service with a regular supply of medicines at discounted prices, easy payment when a shipment has been made, and scheduled delivery (see “Value-Added Services” below). Also, the average basket size for these customers is greater than your assumed “average cart” size of “between PKR 300 and 700.” In fact, our average cart value overall from individual customers is PKR 2,334; for prescription orders only, the average value is PKR 7,452.55.

Customers in remote locations are also a key demographic for our business (see “Market Size” below).

Market Size

While your review only examines the online portal for our pharmacy, we also have a toll-free helpline – 0800-SEHAT (73428). Patients can register, order medicines, and review their account status with our trained customer service representatives.

We are assuming your review only considers large urban areas as our core market because of the significantly larger concentration of internet access. However, our helpline expands this access to not only to small towns and villages with limited or no internet access, but also to a wider socioeconomic demographic.

Combined with our nationwide delivery, we are able to service remote locations that have limited or no access to pharmaceutical supplies and sales points.

We believe this should give us a higher rating for Market Size.

Prescription Policy

Our operation is a fully functioning and licensed pharmacy. We are required by law to receive and keep track of prescription sales with verification and documentation.

Again, given the benefits that we provide to chronic medicine users as listed above, we believe that we have made it easy for customers by having them able to send their prescriptions by post, MMS, or e-mail.

We provide further convenience by using their prescription as the basis for their delivery scheduling (see “Value Added Services” below).

Value-Added Services

Scheduling

Customers who require chronic medication have another advantage with our service: scheduling. Often times they receive a prescription for an item for several months, but for whatever do not wish to purchase the whole supply; also, some medicines are highly restricted and they are not able to receive several months’ supply within a single order.

With scheduling, they can space out their orders in weekly or monthly deliveries as required; they receive reminder notifications on their next delivery and make payment arrangements before the shipment is sent out.

Cold-Chain Delivery

Many conditions, such as diabetes or eye care, require the use of medicines that are temperature sensitive. Therefore, we also include cold-chain delivery as part of our service. For quality assurance, our company,

  1. Has conducted several internal tests for the best packaging that stores these products in ideal temperatures throughout;
  2. Supply and process cold-chain products separately from all other items, even if they are in a large order with other products;
  3. Restricts sales to locations that can receive orders with 48-72 hours;
  4. Have an emergency return procedure if we reasonably expect a cold-chain item cannot be delivered in safe and timely manner.

Given our value-added services listed above, we believe this should give us a higher score in Value Proposition.

Fazal Din and Sons Pvt. Ltd.

We wish to clarify on our association with Fazal Din & Sons Pvt. Ltd.

The Board and upper management of Apothecare Pvt. Ltd. (the parent company of Sehat) consist of the fourth generation of the Fazal Din family. However, Apothecare and Fazal Din & Sons are separate entities.

Sehat is not a brick-mortar establishment with a “supplementary” delivery service. Sehat’s primary service is delivering medicines to the customer’s doorstep in any location in Pakistan.

Sehat has established special arrangements with manufacturers to receive medicines straight from the manufacturers who produce them and store them in our state-of-the-art, temperature- and quality-controlled warehouse facility in Lahore. This is our primary service and we do not use any other physical location.

We appreciate you reviewing our letter and hope that further reviews of our websites will take in to consideration the above points.

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