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Enabling E-Commerce for Pharmaceuticals

Leveraging integration application development expertise to deliver scalable online ordering for both regulated and unregulated medical samples by health care practitioners.

In 2016, the largest pharmaceutical marketing firm in the US engaged AppCentrica to design and deliver a multi-tenant client portal. The portal would allow the organization to more effectively manage its programs for online ordering of both regulated and unregulated medical samples by health care practitioners (licensed doctors, pharmacies, and hospitals). The primary project goal was to vastly improve operational efficiencies, reduce costs, and enhance the end-user experience.

The engagement was part of a larger program to replace aging and inefficient enterprise systems with a modern, scalable platform architecture that could allow for more effective data management, operational efficiencies, and introduction of service innovations for customers.

For this initial project, AppCentrica’s team took the primary lead in architecture, design, requirements definition, project coordination, and development on the engagement. In addition, the AppCentrica team help train and transition ongoing maintenance and operational support tasks of the platform to client resources.

Unique challenges included a heavily regulated operational environment including compliance to FDA (Food and Drug Administration), PDMA (Prescription Drug Marketing Act), and DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) regulations surrounding data privacy, confidentiality, and auditability.  Additionally, the migration of data from legacy systems required extensive involvement from our data management team to help with data transformation and data design activities.

The project also required significant integration with legacy back-end order and inventory management systems using MuleSoft. AppCentrica utilized a microservice architecture on Microsoft Azure, Microsoft .NET, Angular 2, Angular Materials Library, Bootstrap 3, Gulp NPM, and Entity Framework technologies. We also provided Salesforce CRM integration and configuration.


  • Setups on the new platform are 38% lower in hours, and 54.5% lower in cost
  • The organization had around 10 clients in the old system, and in the first 12 months of operations have secured 10 new clients on the new platform and another 3 in the pipeline.
  • Run costs have been decreased, with less than 10% of an FTE supporting the system today.


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