Building a functional online pharmacy from scratch in eight months is an astounding feat. From the beginning, the Swedish online pharmacy MEDS invested in an efficient process and a good customer experience. Receptum provided MEDS the information systems required by an online pharmacy.


MEDS Apotek AB
CEO Björn Thorngren
Partners Joanna Elmes and Adham Shawwaf
21 employees

CTO Adham Shawwaf invites us into his comfortable office in Stockholm’s Östermalm. The mood is calm. The real hustle and bustle takes place in the MEDS warehouse, which is the center of operations.  It is also the workplace of the pharmacists, customer service, marketing, and sales.

Adham Shawwaf and COO Joanna Elmes tell us that they came on board to launch MEDS with CEO Björn Thorngren because they knew that the future of pharmacies was online and, more specifically, mobile. Both also possessed a high level of competence in both the pharmacy sector and electronic commerce.

Elmes, who is a qualified pharmacist, had been involved in the development of several online pharmacies and also worked as an electronic commerce consultant.  Shawwaf in turn had an engineering background in the development of network solutions and had also worked as a consultant in the pharmacy sector. For them, MEDS was in fact “a dream come true; an opportunity to build the best possible online pharmacy”, as Elmes puts it.

“Based on a long-term trend, commerce is increasingly trending toward mobile. At the same time, the customer experience is becoming more and more important to consumers. We wanted to create an online pharmacy with a pleasant user interface. It had to be easy to use, and the shopping experience had to be smooth”, Shawwaf says. Therefore, the experience of a smoothly operating online store requires flexible interfaces between the online store and prescription processing.

From the beginning, the MEDS online store has also provided prescription drugs.  Establishing and developing online pharmacies requires skills and precision precisely because of prescription drugs.

“eHälsomyndigheten carefully inspects that the online pharmacy fulfills all data security and medicinal product safety criteria. Thus, it is important that the information system is also watertight in these regards”, says Shawwaf.

Competent, service-oriented, and flexible data system supplier is a blessing

“We carefully compared three different options before we decided on a provider for our information system”, Shawwaf says. “Receptum outshone the others”, he continues.

A good first impression was ensured by the fact that the system was sold by professionals, Pia Ukkonen and Juha Sevanto, who genuinely understood the requirements and legislation related to both information technology and the pharmacy sector. “Salespersons are often only specialists in selling.”

MEDS chose Receptum’s webservice interface solution to connect their online store with prescription processing. They use MAXX for both prescription processing and inventory management.

“Receptum has turned out to be a great choice. Not only are they highly competent, but also flexible and truly service oriented. I can reach out to our contact person Juha with any issue and receive a response and solution immediately. As an online pharmacy, we had many specific requirements related to data protection and service reliability for example, which Receptum handled skillfully and on time”, Shawwaf says.

Joanna Elmes also commends the work done by Receptum:

“Receptum has experience and competence related to the operation of an online pharmacy. They can move very quickly where necessary. It is also great that in Juha we have a brilliant contact person to help us.”

Fast delivery and good prices receive praise

The first year has been great. Most of our customers are still found in the Stockholm region, but people around the country are already purchasing medicines and other pharmaceutical products through MEDS.

“In Stockholm, we can guarantee delivery within the hour, and on the next day in the rest of the country. We have the best possible prices and we always offer at least one free delivery method. We also ship products that cost more than 200 krona free of charge with express delivery”, Shawwaf explains the MEDS operations model. The customers can also provide feedback in the online store after making a purchase. So far, the feedback we have received has been quite positive.

MEDS has only operated for a year, but they are rapidly moving toward new developments. “We have a long list of ideas for development”, Shawwaf says with a smile. That is a good basis to build on.

The recipe for MEDS’s success:

  • The best customer experience
  • The fastest delivery
  • Good prices