Now, that doesn't really seem that crazy when you think about it. But it turns out you can even get prescription medication delivered. No more waiting in line at the hospital, no more hunting around for a pharmacies that still has your box o' pills in stock.
All you need to do is download an ecommerce app like JD (Jingdong / 京东).
Can I Use Another App Instead?
Yes. It's also possible on Taobao. Probably more apps, too. I'm not going to walk you through the steps on those, but the process is similar.
The Over-The-Counter Stuff
In case you didn't know, yeah, you can just order from pharmacies. It works exactly the same way you would order anything else on JD (or Taobao). Just type in the name of the medication (I just used Baidu to translate the Chinese name), select your product from a pharmacy and pay.
The Prescription Stuff
The process for stuff that you'd normally need to get at a hospital pharmacy with a note from a doctor is only slightly more complicated. You just have to create a new "drug user profile" (oof).
Ventolin (wantuolin / 万托林) is not usually purchasable at a regular pharmacy; I have to go to the hospital and speak to a doctor to get it from their pharmacist with a slip. On JD, I just filled in a couple boxes.
Click the "New User" bit at the top. You'll need to upload your passport details and upload a photo.
Put in a short medical declaration. Your drug user profile (ooooof) is now created and you can use it in the future. Note the "本人" tag at the bottom: this is a personal account. You can also create account for a friend (朋友) or a family member (家庭成员) if you're purchasing on behalf of them.
You'll have to add in some additional info: what you're taking it for, whether you've used it in the past, etc.
You're set! Pay as usual.
You'll get a text message saying that your request is being processed. In my experience, it took less than a minute to get it approved.
The medication arrived the next day. So easy!
But What If You DO Need A Prescription?
A friend had been using the service to purchase medication prescribed by their psychiatrist. In the past, it was the same as the Ventolin: no prescription needed. Recently, however, JD.com has changed their policy for psychiatric medication, and now require an actual prescription.
That will take a visit to a doctor who can write out a prescription for whatever you need, which you can then take a photo of and upload. Many hospitals do electric prescriptions, but if you let them know you're going to use it to purchase the medication online, they can print one out for you.
When you have a photo of it, just upload it. Your order will still need to be approved, which it almost invariably will be within a few minutes.