How To Start A Medical Courier Service in 2023 | RxMile

How to Start a Medical Courier Service

Posted by Akash on 19th June, 2023 in Blog.
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A Pharmaceutical Logistics Owner Shares His Knowledge

A Pharmaceutical Logistics Owner Shares His Knowledge

When we started RxMile we weren’t just looking at a business that we hoped would bring success. We were also looking at a way to improve the accessibility to medication and healthcare aids for Americans no matter their situation.

Our technology opened doors, enabling patients to receive medication how and when they needed it, but it also enabled independent pharmacies and independent specialty pharmacies to finally have a decent platform to help people in ways that the huge multinationals either refuse to or just can’t seem to grasp. It put people, not profit first.

Sure, with a successful business comes profit but at RxMile we believe that knowledge is power and rather than find a way to finesse the technology purely for our gain, we want to share with you how you can be part of the success by starting your own medical courier service by simply licensing the RxMile tech.

The trade in medical courier services is valued in trillions of dollars and it is thought that the growth rate in this sector is as much as 5.5%, showing that the demand for a better level of healthcare is rising and people want to be valued as patients.

So, read on below to see how easy it is for you to start your own medical courier business and become part of one of the most rapidly growing sectors in the world, not just in the USA.

Be part of the future of medical courier services and make a difference.

What is a medical courier service?

What is a medical courier service?

Before jumping into a new business venture, it would be wise to know whether it is for you and something that can bring you both success and even a sense of purpose. Many businesses are set up on a whim and whilst delivering an instant but potentially short-lived success, they don’t fulfil many long-term goals and can often be over before they have really started.

A medical courier service is a business that transports anything medical to an end location, it could be direct to a patient, doctor, or hospital. The goods transported could range from time-sensitive documents to medical supplies, prescription medications, blood, organs, and even medical equipment.

And it is the movement of these kinds of goods that can sometimes deter people from wanting to move into this sector of the courier industry. However, with the technology developed by RxMile, it is easy to remain fully compliant and provide the safe, rapid service that the industry and its patients demand.

So now you know what one is, are you in? Yes? Well, let’s go!

The simple steps to starting a medical courier service

The simple steps to starting a medical courier service

Setting up a medical courier service does require some degree of hard work, but it is ultimately a venture that can bring you rewards on both a business and moral level. As with anything in the health industry, there can be a huge amount of red tape to cut through, and in a country as large as ours, it can make things more complicated. However, the USA has always been the land of the free and the land of opportunity has it not? So, when we discover something that can bring us and others success, we got to take it.

Our expert team helps you cut through that red tape by assisting you with setting up the business and providing you with software that consistently keeps you compliant. We pretty much hand you the scissors, and you slice through each bit of the tape, building your business as our software helps guide you.

So how should you go about it?

Weigh up the pros and cons of starting a medical courier service

Weigh up the pros and cons of starting a medical courier service

We touched upon earlier what the business is and hopefully, now, if you have read this far, you are still interested in taking the next steps, if you skimmed that part and perhaps have doubts, the first thing to do is look at the pros and cons. Is a medical courier service something you can throw yourself into?

The pros of starting a medical courier service:

  • Flexibility- you are your own boss in this part of the business
  • Low start-up costs
  • Adding an additional service to your existing business
  • You are making a difference to the community around you
  • Money – we can’t confirm or deny if it will make you excellent money but if you get it right, you are part of a fast-growing and lucrative industry.

The cons of starting a medical courier service:

  • Lots of competition
  • Plenty of licensing and regulations to work through

Now there may only be two cons on our list but they both make it hard for your medical courier service to thrive. That is why we help you navigate this particular part. RxMile technology separates you from the competition by providing you with unique and premium software that can be incorporated into a new business or an existing one that is looking to scale up. At the same time, with the record-keeping, route optimization, and risk assessment support among many other things offered by RxMile, the regulations can be adhered to with minimal concern. We do, though, always advise you to seek legal counsel in your state to make sure you are 100% compliant.

Study the competitor market

Study the competitor market

Once you have decided whether this is a venture you believe you can add to your existing courier business or one that you think you can start from scratch, you should assess the local market. Couriers can be found almost anywhere, some have glowing reputations, others not so much. Look at all the potential competitors in your area. Do any offer what you are planning to offer? Do any have a good or bad reputation? What could you bring to the table that they don’t by embracing the RxMile software?

One huge consideration is working out who you want to be delivering for and how saturated the market is in that particular niche. Will it be just small independent pharmacies? Would you want to be delivering supplies to hospitals? Could doctor’s surgeries be included? Is there a possible way to cover them all? Understanding where you could fit in the market is key to deciding how to proceed.

There isn’t always space for a new company but if your courier business is adding another part to its repertoire of services, you could find yourself very quickly enhancing an already glowing reputation. And if you are new to the courier industry, could you be exposing a gap in the market in your local area?

It’s worth noting that in the USA as of 2022, close to 300,000 courier and local delivery services were operating across the country. It’s time to stand out and be the best!

Ensure you know the law for your state

Ensure you know the law for your state

You may have now found that this is a business you want to embrace and that there is a gap in the market you feel you can fit. That’s great! It’s just now that things can get a little more complex. Across our 50 states, there are varying rules around the transportation of medical supplies and in most, if not all cases they are totally understandable.

Equipment, medicines, medical samples, and even patient data can all be transferred from place to place and there are some rules around each of them. A medical courier service has the responsibility to safely handle all of these items and where drugs by mail are regularly letting people down with a lack of temperature control or on-time deliveries, a courier service has to work to make sure such issues cannot arise.

In many cases rules and regulations are set out nationwide, HIPAA, OSHA and the FMSCA for example will cover everything you could need.

That being said, the Department of Transportation for each state may have different rules over how you transport particular items. So, it is here that you need to check and double-check.

Now you could be a one-man band, or you could be a small business operating with multiple drivers but regardless, the buck stops with you. So, to ensure that you and your team are fully qualified, you must ensure that you yourself become qualified to deliver medical supplies. Courses are available in a variety of medical areas and as a courier service, all would be worth getting.

Not only do you ensure you are compliant, but you also make sure that customers are aware that your business is fully competent and committed to following guidelines.

What licenses do I need for a medical courier service?

What licenses do I need for a medical courier service?

The laws, as we mentioned above, can present a bit of tricky red tape to navigate but you can set yourself on the right path by preparing correctly so that your medical courier service can hit the ground running. There are a few licenses you need in the USA for your courier service to launch. If you are looking to scale your existing courier business to incorporate medical deliveries, you may have some licenses already in place that just need a little finessing to be compliant with your new service.

If you are setting up a medical courier service, from scratch then check the list below, and if you have an existing courier service, have a look too. Many of these items are specific to medication!

  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Operating Agreements
  • Business License and Certifications
  • Business Plan
  • Valid Driving License
  • Courier Insurance
  • Commercial Car Insurance
  • Employment Agreement
  • NDA
  • Operating Agreement for LLCs
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
  • Employer Identification Number
  • Online Terms of Use
  • Online Privacy Policy Documents
  • Consulting Contract Documents
  • Company Bylaws
  • Memorandum of Understanding
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Alongside these, some states will specify that someone must hold a diploma in pharmacy for your business to offer a medical courier service.

Speak to your local authority to find out more about the licenses you will require.

Just remember, having these makes you much more attractive to the potential clients you look to secure!

Sourcing equipment for a medical courier service

Sourcing equipment for a medical courier service

With the business firmly secured in your mind as a project you want to pursue, if you have made it this far, you will have licenses granted, have yourself qualified and have spotted your gap in the market.

Now you just need to be prepared for all the aspects of medical courier services. This can be an expensive initial outlay so securing funding may be necessary.  A bank loan, borrowing from friends or family, or sourcing investors may all be a viable way to fund the initial steps. You may have got funding already behind you from savings or your existing business. Regardless of how you finance this part of the project, set a budget but remember, these costs are vital expenditures to get your business on the road.

A common mistake is that some people looking at working as couriers believe a simple car or truck may be suitable. Unfortunately, with items that must be stored at certain temperatures or require certain equipment to stow them, a specialist vehicle may be needed. You then also need to look at things such as light exposure. Your items may be packed nice and cool but if they are exposed to too much light, they can be harmed.

Shop around for vehicles that offer good fuel economy, adequate storage and could incorporate additional features for the safe storage of medicines, equipment and documents.

You will also need to factor in a budget for packaging and storage materials, this could include boxes, tape, bubble wrap, cool packs and more.

If your network of couriers is growing, and you are a new business, you will need to invest in communication equipment, RxMile allows for live driver tracking but there are times when you will need to speak with each other so consider phones, or powerbanks so drivers can keep  their devices topped up.

Another consideration is driver safety, with potentially long times on the road for you and the drivers you employ you want to keep them safe and well looked after. Assign some budget to first aid kits for the vehicles. Gloves, jackets, hats and face masks can also be greatly appreciated by the team.

Decide how you want to acquire vehicles

Decide how you want to acquire vehicles

We touched upon vehicles briefly in the previous paragraph and obviously with a courier service you need them, right?

You just need to decide on how you want this part of your business to operate. Do you have a fleet that drivers are issued at the start of a working day? Do you allow drivers to use their own vehicles? Will you buy or rent them for the business?

Most vehicles will be totally fine for the purpose of delivering supplies but shop wisely, a top-down convertible may look great on the road but it isn’t going to store medication as safely as a saloon or people carrier.

Hire high-quality drivers

Hire high-quality drivers

We say high quality and many drivers would say they are great on the road, but you want your guys to be the best. You want them to be efficient, hold a clean license and be aware of the responsibility that comes with transporting medical items.  When you interview them, look for sparks of personality and character, the drivers are the last person that your customer sees connected to your business. How they look, how they engage and how they carry themselves can easily make or break a business’s reputation.

Be aware of the need to train them, specifically in the delivery of medical items. Items that can be left on a porch with regular courier services require much less care than something that is to be temperature controlled or contains private information.

This should be factored into any advertisements you place for drivers too. Carefully outline what may be required, especially if medical equipment may need to be set up, upon delivery.

If drivers are expected to provide their own vehicle, clarify this in the advert referencing the tax breaks they may be entitled to. In addition, don’t forget to mention the need for insurance (if using their own car) what they pay will be, what expenses (if any) they will need to cover and that full training in using software like RxMile will be given.

Don’t forget additional job vacancies

As you scale your medical courier service, other roles may need to come into play. Whilst you have a great pool of drivers, you may also need to look into call handlers, marketing assistants and logistics experts. Luckily RxMile technology does a lot of the hard work for you with its courier software support, route optimization, multi-market scaling support and pharmacy lead generation support.

Find the best route optimization software

Find the best route optimization software

With the core of the business set up or at least planned, you will need to begin looking at how you are going to help deliver the premium service you are likely to promise to both the pharmacies you deliver for and the patients that receive the goods.

These days, everyone has a smartphone that can give you a route for your desired journey once you have entered point A and point B into the map app. However, if you have 50 drops to do in one shift, can you afford to spend the time searching routes? Instead, let tech specifically designed for medical courier service route optimization take care of it for you.

It works by assessing all the journeys that need to be taken and the priority attached to each one, it will then work out the best possible route you can take. The result being patients receive items when they are meant to and how they are meant to whilst the business reduces its fuel costs and labor costs delivering more profit.

Allowing RxMile tech to integrate with your existing software or be implemented as a stand-alone part of your set-up, you benefit from:

  • Optimized delivery routes
  • A monitor of ongoing routes
  • Real-time tracking updates for patients, pharmacies and couriers
  • Collected proof of delivery

So why are each of these benefits worth taking advantage of? Well, let’s show you!

Optimized delivery routes

As we mentioned above prove to be extremely cost-effective and as a result, profitable for your business. It isn’t just about the bottom line though. Using software such as RxMile saves you time, allows you to prioritize deliveries and gives drivers the most efficient way to complete their job.

Monitoring routes

Allows you as the business owner to check how each driver is getting on, therefore enhancing customer service should a call come in asking about their whereabouts. It also allows you to monitor performance by seeing how efficiently the team are performing.

Real-time tracking

Is a perfect way to keep customers satisfied. With notifications indicating an ETA for delivery, the recipient, whether it be an individual or a medical facility can plan their day or availability accordingly knowing when their medication or supplies will be arriving.

Proof of delivery

Especially in the medical field, is extremely important and with RxMile software, the captured proof of delivery gives everybody involved in the transaction peace of mind that the goods have been delivered. With patient, pharmacy and medical courier service all fully satisfied, the time for complaints is removed!

Pitch your services to the people that need them!

Pitch your services to the people that need them!

With all the above in place, you can begin to approach those that may wish to take advantage of your service. The market is tough, it’s really tough but with a focus on premium customer service, being compliant and embracing the ever-developing world of medical courier services, you can make it a success.

Earlier we mentioned how you need to have an idea of who you wish to serve, will you be collecting packages from the pharmacies and delivering them to patients? Perhaps you are delivering supplies from manufacturers to hospitals or are you focusing on assisting doctors’ surgeries by transporting paperwork and other items to and from their offices?

Secure these clients with strong marketing by building a website that employs the best SEO practices. A specialist digital marketing agency can build the website, organize your online adverts and run your social media helps get a message to millions fast.

Then, as much as people are not fans of it, prepare some outreach via cold calling, contact the local pharmacies, pitch your business and highlight how you can make business better for them and service better for patients.

Next, consider networking, get yourself in with the right crowds at industry events, by showcasing what you over and the tech that RxMile have to offer, you have the chance to revolutionize the medical courier service industry in your area and local healthcare professionals will want to know more.

Where possible, advertise, demo, talk and boast! (although maybe don’t boast too much!) showcase what you do, why you do it and how you are benefitting citizens and businesses.

With all of the above, you should be ready to either scale up your existing courier service or start a new one but we get it, there will be some questions, there always are and that’s understandable. This could be a new area for you to excel in, so we gave our CEO Kunal Vyas the final few words, answering some of the more common questions that people come to RxMile with.

A word from the CEO

A word from the CEO

Thanks for getting this far down the page, it’s a lot of reading but I hope you found it insightful and showed you how beneficial setting up a medical courier service can be to the local community. I get asked questions every day about not just RxMile itself but the logistics and more behind medicine and I won’t lie, I love it. I find it fascinating. I have been in the world of pharmacies for so many years now but I learn more every day from incredible people and I feel it is only right we share our passion and knowledge with the world.

So below, I have answered some of the more frequent questions I get asked when I demo RxMile software or talk about medical courier services.

Will I make lots of money running a medical courier service?

I get asked this a lot. I would love to say to everyone that they will be a multi-millionaire within 6 months but that just isn’t the way it works. You can certainly be very profitable in this industry but that comes from hard work and building a strong customer base. RxMile software helps you achieve this.

Do I need to be a medical expert?

As a medical courier service, there will be some things that require a little knowledge but much of it is to do with the handling of goods and safe storage. I noticed in a section above a reference to certain qualifications you can pick up. I would suggest that those would give you an advantage over some of the competition!

What is the RxMile software?

We created this to make healthcare better for everyone. Our software allows an established courier service or one that is just starting out to be able to do this. You simply licence our tech and use it to make delivering medical products simple, safe and compliant.

Does it cost a lot to set up a medical courier service?

I get asked this probably just as much as the first question! It’s a valid one though and luckily, it doesn’t cost much at all when you compare it to many other business types. A website, a vehicle, some advertising and of course, insurance is more or less all you need. Once you expand sufficiently, you can go rent that big office in the city centre or upgrade to an even better vehicle!

In my honest opinion, just a few thousand dollars will get you set. Some people may spend less than $5,000 others may go and spend as much as $50,000. Work to a budget and with RxMile on your side, you will grow naturally.

What are the biggest mistakes you see people make setting up a medical courier service?

Luckily for me, nobody that has chosen to use the RxMile product has made them yet! Jokes aside, it’s the legal stuff people fall foul of most. We help you become compliant and with our 24/7 support we can always guide you but obviously, sometimes, people do things with the thought it is correct, only to find it most definitely incorrect later on.

So the biggest mistakes are failing to keep on top of rules and regulations and I would also say promoting the business. We can give you the tech to make it run as it should but if you don’t tell people you exist, you aren’t going far!

How will I find clients for my medical courier service?

I noticed a section touched upon this earlier and it’s so true what it says. Network, advertise, create your online presence, and make yourself known in healthcare circles. Word of mouth travels fast, trust me!

Want to get started, contact RxMile today and see how it works and then utilize this groundbreaking software in your own business. Not got your own pharmacy yet? Find out more as we explain how to start your own independent pharmacy affordably and compliantly.