Singapore’s first HSA-registered online pharmacy launched

SINGAPORE – Pharmaceutical company Hyphens Pharma officially launched Thursday, January 13, the first electronic pharmacy in Singapore to be registered with the Health Sciences Authority (HSA).

The e-pharmacy, WellAway, acts as a digital platform where registered doctors can give patients electronic prescriptions and have prescribed medications delivered to patients within three hours to their homes.

Managed by Hyphens Pharma’s new digital business division, DocMed, the platform’s service is free to patients, while doctors who use it will be charged a nominal fee.

Over 140 clinics have signed up during the beta phase of the e-pharmacy, with around 20 prescriptions dispensed each day.

WellAway’s beta phase began from June 2021 after HSA awarded the license in January of the same year.

By the end of this year, Hyphens Pharma expects 1,000 active clinics to join us, with approximately 40 prescriptions dispensed daily.

Intended for the private medical sector, the new e-pharmacy will serve doctors in private hospitals and clinics, general practitioners as well as telehealth providers.

WellAway follows strict HSA guidelines which include the safe procurement and delivery of medications and the protection of patient data.

Heat-sensitive drugs will also be delivered in temperature-controlled boxes.

According to the HSA website, other requirements that e-pharmacies must adhere to in order to be registered include ensuring that e-prescriptions are sent directly from clinics to the e-pharmacy to prevent them from being modified or reused, be traceable to prescribing physicians and with cybersecurity in place.

Another requirement of the HSA states that these pharmacies will need a qualified pharmacist to support the operations of the pharmacy, including the proper storage and supply of registered therapeutic products.

The drug delivery service is primarily aimed at patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure, as they need to regularly replenish drugs, said Timothy Chen, chief executive of DocMed.

The service is particularly useful for elderly patients who are immobile, self-isolating, or who simply prefer to reduce their outdoor contact time, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic, Hyphens Pharma said in a statement on Monday (January 10).

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