Leading e-pharmacy firm PharmEasy has strongly advocated use of technology in medicine distribution to ensure greater transparency, better coordination and benefits to general public.
Much has been said about the recent strike of All India Organization of Chemists and Druggists against the Government’s move to allow sale of medicines online. Lot of propaganda has also been made against online pharmacy platforms. However it is mere propaganda and there is no truth in it.
On the contrary, “Online pharmacy will enhance coordination and ensure greater transparency in medicine distribution”, says Mr. Dharmil Sheth, Co-founder and Director, PharmEasy.
“It is would be wrong to suggest that ‘online pharmacies’ actually dispense medicines on their own. The fact is that online pharmacies in India are only market-places; they are just an electronic platform: Orders placed by a consumer are routed directly to a neighbourhood brick and mortar pharmacy—with all licenses, systems and procedures required by state laws. The consumer’s order is filled by a registered retail chemist with all required legal safeguards”, says Mr. Sheth.
The policy makers are currently looking at having regulatory framework for the business and it is expected that a decision that benefits large section of people will be taken.
Mr. Sheth adds that “So, firstly, there is no question of loss of livelihood and secondly, by facilitating faster and easier access, online pharmacies are only providing last mile connectivity in a seamless fashion—from order placement, payment, tracking to doorstep delivery.”
The online platform like PharmEasy collaborates with local pharmacists and druggists for last mile delivery and hence fear of loss of business for traditional brick and mortar drug outlets is grossly unsubstantiated.
Most importantly, PharmEasy adheres to strict code of conduct, and no drug is sold without valid prescription by the registered medical practitioner (RMP) and more than two year old prescription is not considered to be valid.
It is pertinent to note that as an ethical online platform and self-imposed code of conduct, PharmEasy does not sale anti-depressant drugs, psychotropic drugs, habit forming drugs and drugs related to pregnancy even though they are prescribed by the RMP.
So PharmEasy would like to state categorically that, they do not violate any provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Rules, 1945.
However, the role of technology platforms, which acts as an intermediary tool for easy and convenient access to medicines to the general public, is getting largely ignored. Also by painting all online pharmacies with a same brush is unjust to a player like PharmEasy.
The concept of online pharmacy has come as a boon to patients for chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, heart ailments etc. The model of online pharmacy is crucial for the nuclear family structure.
At a time when the Government is pushing Digital India initiative for extending services to citizens in a convenient fashion, online platforms like PharmEasy aim to deliver medicine to consumers at affordable rates through digitations of drug distribution system.
It is a well known fact that pharmacy is a well established concept in developed countries such as China, USA, Australia and United Kingdom and India is fast adopting these phenomena through technological platforms like PharmEasy.