Buying products online is becoming the rage these days as more and more people are finding it a lot easier and accessible to do their shopping digitally. Even Japan’s drugstores have joined in the fray. Early this week, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has received more than a thousand applications from drugstores to sell medicines online in light of the government’s relax on sales ban next month.
Because the product to be sold is highly sensitive, the Health Ministry has requested the applicants to comply on certain requirements before they may be considered. Among the required things are first and foremost a website address for people to go to when purchasing. This must be submitted to the pertinent government office that holds jurisdiction in their region. Apart from that very easy requirement, all interested drugstores must be able to show compliance on some things. First, that a pharmacist must be available at all times to answer queries by customers even after store hours. Second, all pharmacists affiliated to the drugstore must be published in their website along with a photo of their storefront for proper identification. Lastly, medicines at risk of causing side-effects to customers must not be sold to customers unless the drugstore have verified that the customer is suffering from that illness, in which a written prescription from the doctor would suffice.
The ministry has received 1,157 applications has recorded to have the most number of applicants coming from Osaka with 184. 159 applications came from Tokyo, 105 from Kanagawa Prefecture followed by Aichi Prefecture at 77. The ministry expects to receive more as days come closer to the lifting of the ban. Meanwhile, retail stores have also expressed interest in selling medicines online. “If business from other sectors also begin getting in on the trend, we could see the management thereof start to become quite difficult,” said a Tokyo official.
Comments Off on JDP Startup Corner: Pros & Cons of Working with a Partner in Japan