Can E-pharmacies in India Enhance the Provision of Pharmaceutical Services?

The Indian e-pharmacies recently suffered the consequences of the Indian judiciary, notwithstanding their rising popularity as well as their expanding client base. Despite accounting for barely 3% of all the pharma segment in India, organisations for retail chemists, such as the All India Organization of Chemists & Druggists, have been hostile toward e-pharmacy (AIOCD). The Union Health Ministry has provided criteria that mandate e-pharmacies enrol with the Central Medications Standard Control Organization (CDSCO), the primary licencing and regulating body for pharma revenue, in an effort to legalise online drug sales.

Why Was AIOCD’s Medicare Promotion Online Canceled?

AIOCD strongly reacted to this action and even decided to cancel the medications promoted by the pharmaceutical companies that invested in e-pharmacy.

Due to extremely inadequate health insurance, medical expenses, which make up roughly 70% of all medical costs in India, are rarely reimbursed.

Although government-sponsored health care programmes in India (such as the Jan Aushadhi programme) have increased accessibility, the public sector’s access to pharmaceuticals is still not ideal, leaving the majority dependent on the more costly private sector. India is expected to have a much more effective pharmacy sector if it is to address the health concerns.

online medicine home delivery service in Ranchi

online medicine home delivery service in Ranchi

What Has the High Court Outlawed in Regards to Pharmacy?

The prevalence of chronic diseases in urban India is expected to increase, outpacing that of retail pharmacies. When the Delhi High Court outlawed the nationwide selling of pharmaceuticals online in December 2018, e-pharmacies’ substantial price cuts and vast selection of brands had already started to be seen as a viable solution to this dilemma. The Indian judiciary decided to ensure safe pharmacy practise by recognising the potential risk of hazardous self-medication and the selling of unregulated drugs via online platforms.

The most recent regulation change in the e-pharmacy industry merely emphasises the requirement for a medical prescription, leaving some of the most pressing issues unaddressed.

Why is e-commerce in India blooming?

In India, where e-commerce is booming, e-pharmacy is also becoming more and more popular despite ill-defined legislation and harsh conditions for its development. The Drug and Cosmetics Act (1940) as well as the Pharmacy Act (1948), both of which were established years before the internet was invented, regulate the sale of pharmaceuticals in India. But since 2016, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has kept an eye on Indian online pharmacies.

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This is in accordance with the United States’ efforts to control e-pharmacies by limiting online selling permissions to those websites that are authorised by the Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS) programme and recognised by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP).

In contrast to India, the US has tougher legislation governing the selling of medications online, such as rejecting credit card payments if an e-pharmacy isn’t really NABP/VIPPS-certified.


We recommend, as a matter of public concern, that on-call pharmacists be made accessible to examine the reliability of prescriptions as well as provide guidance to customers of e-pharmacies when purchasing medications. This is done by weighing the potentially fatal dangers of self-medication as well as dosage mistakes against the advantages of e-pharmacy. This requirement for acquiring an e-pharmacy licence should help allay major worries about online pharmacies. Additionally, the total cost of healthcare might be significantly reduced if India is successful in implementing a properly rigorous system like the NABP/VPPS, which could also efficiently monitor over 250 recently created e-pharmacies.

A profusion of online material depicts e-pharmacies as a digital threat, which adds to the long-standing negative views of these businesses. In this paper, we seek to demonstrate that e-pharmacies could aid in resolving India’s unsolved drug access dilemma in light of the country’s rising burden of infectious and non-communicable diseases.

However, more investigation is required to verify this and create regulations for online pharmacies that are supported by facts.

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