Maha Pharmacist association upset over Centre easing E-pharmacy conditions

The Union Government's new draft on E-pharmacies has eased a few conditions. Now the E-pharmacies will have to get themselves registered with the central government. Also, the information received by an E-pharmacy registration holder from the customer, by way of the prescription or any other manner, shall not be disclosed to anyone

In today’s digitised world everything, including food, clothes, and grocery is just a click away. One just needs to search the e-commerce websites, and everything is delivered to their doorsteps.

Soon, one would be able to order their daily medicines online. Yes! The Union government is a step closer to regulate the E-pharmacies, which would allow patients’ to procure drugs through the authentic online pharmacies.

The Union Government has drafted a proposed act to regulate the online drug stores. The new draft has been sent to all the state governments for their suggestions and objections.

The proposed draft states, 

  • The E-pharmacy registration holder shall procure the orders through an e-pharmacy portal 
  • E-pharmacy registration holder shall arrange the drugs as per the prescription received 
  • E-pharmacy registration holder shall have a facility for customer support and grievance redressal for all the stakeholders which shall run not less than 12 hours for all seven days 
  • Information received by the  E-pharmacy registration holder from the customer by way of the prescription or any other manner shall not be disclosed to anyone 
  • E-pharmacy registration holder shall be duty bound to provide such information to the central government 
  • E-pharmacy registration holder will get registration from Drug Controller General of India  
  • E-pharmacy office will be inspected every two years 
  • On receipt of the prescription through the e-pharmacy portal, the e-pharmacy shall verify the details of the patient, registered medical practitioner as per the instructions 
  • Renewal of the registration after every three years 
  • No E-Pharmacy shall advertise any drug on radio, television, internet, print or any other media platform 

While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Arjun Khadtare, Joint-commissioner (Drugs) FDA Maharashtra said, “The Union Government has mulled a proposed draft of the law. There are few changes in this draft. Now, the central government will be the authority to take any action against an online pharmacy. Now onwards, Drug Controler General of India (DCGI) will take all the decisions. DCGI will take the decision of whether or not to register the e-pharmacist.”

But, Maharashtra registered Pharmacist Association is not happy with the new draft proposed by the government.

Kailash Tandel, President of Maharashtra registered Pharmacist association, said, “With the new draft, the state government can not interfere in the E-pharmacy now. Earlier, it was mandatory for an E-pharmacist to provide the information of the drugs being supplied or sold on the national portal. But, now that condition has been deleted. Now the question remains is? How will the government track the medicines sold by the E-pharmacy?”