A5 - Supplying medicines in the age of the internet colossuses

Conference Hall A - Section D

Organised by the FIP Community Pharmacy Section, in collaboration with the FIP Industrial Pharmacy Section


Jaime Acosta Gómez (Farmacia Acosta, Spain)


The importance of promoting efficient and effective management throughout the supply chain cannot be overemphasised. The largest global e-commerce companies have shown that they have a robust and efficient supply chain and mastery of the technology and innovative approaches to really transform and disrupt how the marketplace delivers products. Pharmacists have responded with concern to these giants’ move into the pharmacy market. Can patients consider medicines just as any other product that found online? Does face-to-face interaction with the patient still make a difference? Would these colossuses be more effective or efficient for consumers?

From a logistics and consumerism perspective, providing medicines is an ideal way to enhance the value of these companies’ free package delivery. The internet giants offer a variety of gadgets and services to keep homes stocked with the products it sells, all of which could be applied to prescription drugs. Shoppers can automate delivery of frequently purchased items like toothpaste and tissues. Small dedicated devices let shoppers summon more paper towels and dog food with the push of a small internet-connected device. Prescription medicines, especially for people on a medication regimen, fit perfectly into these companies’ convenient household replenishment strategy. Even better, drugs are lightweight, making their delivery less costly than bottled water and laundry detergent.

Do pharmacies have a chance of not only adding value but surviving in the global e-commerce age? Come to this session to form your opinion.


12:30 – 12:35 Introduction by the chairs

  1. 12:35 – 13:00 Is distribution of products dead? New players in the pharmaceutical arena
    Girgis Abd El-Shahid (Shahid Law Firm, Egypt)
  2. 13:00 – 13:25 Hammock Healthcare and the digital pharmacist
    Claudia Rijcken (pharmacare.ai, Netherlands)
  3. 13:25 – 13:50 Can independent pharmacies compete with the internet colossuses?
    Michel van de Beek (Swyft Healthcare, Netherlands)

13:50 – 13:55 Conclusion by the chairs

13:55 – 14:00 Room refresh

Learning Objectives

At the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe what efficiencies these companies bring to product and medicines logistics
  2. Outline how pharmacies can create a collaborative network to compete and adapt
  3. Describe ways of taking advantage of modern online marketplaces
  4. List self-beliefs about dominant online market players.

Type of session: Knowledge-based