More people are taking prescription drugs online, but Canadian online pharmacy Mark Marine is seeing fewer patients as demand has outpaced supply.
The company reported its first full-year profit in over three years last week, and its profits have doubled in the past three months.
The online pharmacy was founded in 2011 by former drugstore owner David Withers, who said he hoped to create a more efficient supply chain and improve quality of life for his customers.
His efforts have paid off.
Mark Marine’s CEO, Paul Pinto, says the online pharmacy’s sales rose by 20% in the third quarter of this year.
But he says the company’s margins are too low to support such a significant increase in sales.
Mark said his company is making a “good effort” to cut costs, but its margins are low.
“We have to do the same thing to save the company, so we can keep it going,” he said.
“If we could take on more staff, we could make a good profit.
But the only way we can do that is to save our business, and that’s what we’re doing.”
Pinto says he wants to make sure Mark Marine can stay competitive and profitable.
“I think that we have to have more people working in the pharmacy.
We’re still trying to find the right balance, but I think we have the right people here.
I don’t think there’s a better business model,” he added.
The Canadian online prescription drugstore operator is in the midst of a $2.2 billion expansion in the province of British Columbia, as the province moves to allow patients to purchase prescription drugs from pharmacies that are more than 200 kilometres from their home.
In B.C., online pharmacies are not allowed to sell prescriptions over the phone or on the Internet, so most of the province’s prescriptions are sent by mail.
The government announced last year that the province would allow online pharmacies to sell prescription drugs.
Pinto said Mark Marine will continue to look for ways to expand, including opening a new office in Vancouver.