Picture a world where pharmacy knows no boundaries — where patients receive expert medication management, chronic condition monitoring, and clinical services at the touch of a button.

In this world, geographical limitations fade away, care isn’t constrained to physical location, and patients can get the services they need when they need them. Services are convenient, seamless, and accessible to all patients.

While this world may seem out of touch, it’s actually a possibility right around the bend, thanks to a new technology: telepharmacy.

What is Telepharmacy?

Telepharmacy is a kind of technology that connects pharmacists and patients remotely.

Rather than one single product, “telepharmacy” is an all-encompassing term that refers to any platform that provides virtual appointments, remote monitoring, and patient messaging capabilities, among other things.

These platforms give pharmacists the tools they need to do what they do best, from as close or as far away as patients may be.

While telepharmacy first came to us during COVID-19, it’s made a permanent place in the pharmacy space — and your pharmacy has an opportunity to get in on it.

If you want to expand your offerings and better serve your patients, learn more about the unique opportunities, challenges, and advantages of telepharmacy.

What are the Types of Telepharmacy Platforms?

Telepharmacy comes in many shapes and sizes. The most common telepharmacy platforms include:

  • Pharmacy software systems: Some pharmacy software systems already come equipped with telepharmacy capabilities, whether they be through virtual counseling, remote monitoring, or integrated messaging. If your software system provides telepharmacy features, you don’t have to worry about using third-party platforms. To find out if your software system supports telepharmacy, or to switch to one that does, visit our Compare Software page.

  • Telepharmacy platforms: Outside of your pharmacy software system, you can find software specific to telepharmacy to give you the tools you need. For example, Cardinal Health offers TelePharm, a cloud-based platform with video conferencing capabilities, photo documentation of filled scripts, and smart queues to help you manage your workflow virtually. 

  • Patient messaging apps: If you’re interested in making patient messaging a part of your telepharmacy services, apps can make it easier. Some software vendors have their own apps (like PioneerRx’s RxLocal app), but there are also standalone patient messaging apps from vendors like OmniSYS, Surescripts, and Digital Pharmacist

  • Patient counseling platforms: If you want to hone in on patient counseling, you can look to platforms like PipelineRx and Vuca Health. Vuca Health even offers an entire library of medication education videos to supplement your services, ensuring that your patients stay up-to-date on their treatment plans.

What are the Opportunities of Telepharmacy?

Telepharmacy opens up a world of exciting opportunities for your pharmacy.

First and foremost, it significantly expands the services you’re able to offer, eliminating geographical barriers and ensuring that even the most remote or underserved communities can receive the care they need.

From a financial perspective, when you add more services, you see more revenue. 

Many pharmacies opt to make telepharmacy services a cash-based service, so if you want another tactic to fight against rising DIR fees and clawbacks from PBMs, try telepharmacy.

From a healthcare perspective, telepharmacy fosters collaborative care, allowing you to work closely with other providers to optimize treatment plans, share real-time patient data, and foster a holistic approach to patient well-being.

Finally, alongside other technologies, like artificial intelligence and virtual reality, telepharmacy can revolutionize the way you manage medications, interact with patients, and ensure patient safety and satisfaction.

What are the Challenges of Telepharmacy?

Even with all its advantages, telepharmacy does face certain challenges.

For one, telepharmacy depends on a reliable Internet connection, which isn’t always feasible for patients in remote and rural areas.

Without the Internet, patients may not be able to join a conference call, respond to virtual messages, or use web-based platforms for telepharmacy services.

In addition, telepharmacy has to adhere to a number of state and federal regulations, licensures, and credentialing standards — just as physical pharmacies do.

An important part of this conversation is protected health information (PHI). 

Telepharmacies exchange PHI with patients, providers, and payors alike — all over digital channels. This means they have to take additional measures to prevent data breaches and maintain patient confidentiality. 

To learn more about telepharmacy rules and regulations, including those related to PHI, visit the Federal Register’s Regulation of Telepharmacy Practice page.

A final challenge for telepharmacy is the problem of personalized care.

Since no in-person interactions take place with telepharmacy, it may be challenging to build patient-pharmacist relationships, assess non-verbal cues, and perform certain services.

These challenges underscore the importance of the human connection — and it’s up to telepharmacy providers to learn how to keep technology approachable and accessible for all patients.

What is the Future of Telepharmacy?

Telepharmacy is an evolving technology, but it’s safe to say it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

Patients appreciate the convenience and flexibility of telepharmacy; pharmacists appreciate the efficiency it affords. Even if you aren’t interested in creating a full-fledged telepharmacy, you can still implement telepharmacy services alongside your standard practice.

You can offer video sessions for regularly scheduled appointments, use patient messaging platforms to send appointment reminders, and rely on digital tools to manage chronic conditions. 

However you choose to do it, implementing at least some form of telepharmacy can be a huge help to your patients — and a great boost to your business.


Looking forward, the future of telepharmacy is bright.

As patients, providers, and pharmacists alike explore new ways to navigate telepharmacy, the technology will only get more efficient, effective, and imperative to patient care.

If you want to be a part of this move to accessible care, consider implementing a telepharmacy service or two. There’s no better time to get on board.