Buying medicines online is the latest trend amongst the Indian parents and consumers. With this increasing trend of buying medicines online, the number of online pharmacy in India is also increasing. But there is a lack of proper regulatory checks and balances for exercising regulatory control over e-pharmacies. This eventually leads to the flourishing of e-pharmacies like mushrooms. There are also several other factors which works as fuel in the gearing up of e-pharmacies like the increased number of netizens, long term illness patients and increases chronic diseases.
As we all know that India is a country of youngsters and they are spending more and more time on the Internet using mobile and computer. Due to the advancement of technology, access to medicines through the Internet is now very easy for everyone. This is the high time for the pharmacy model to grow with the drastically increasing netizens, smartphone users and patients. The major factors behind the popularity of e-pharmacies are time-saving, easy 24/7 access, transparency, convenience, etc.
Although, the online pharmacy in India is growing very fast still the mechanism of regulation is not decided yet. The success of this model is not assured in this shaky and cloudy regulatory regime but its graph is going higher day by day. There is a lack of proper and clear laws of e-pharmacies. The Drugs and cosmetics act 1940 do not distinguish between online and offline pharmacies. It seems e pharmacies may not abide by these regulations and bypass them and the concerned authority find it difficult to control, monitor and track sale of drugs via the Internet as there is also not some clear guidelines for the same. So, it may be that online medicine stores in India may be proved as a dangerous trend in future if not regulated properly.
What should do to improve the regulation in India?
Here are some of the points that regular authorities need to take into action:
1) A website to check out the legality of online pharmacy
2) Guidelines for consumers to safely accessing online stores and making their online medicine purchase
3) Specific rules for the selling, prescribing, dispensing and delivery of prescription drugs
4) List of all the black-listed websites to help out consumer and stop them from using those websites
5) The government should make a common logo for legally operating pharmacies to distinguish from the fake one.
6) E-pharmacies should not use the data generated from online business for commercial purpose.
7) A rigorous eye should be kept on importation or selling of banned drugs
Although this business model is growing in India, it has some drawbacks and a number of authorities can create hurdles in its way of success. It may promote self-medication, drug abuse, drug addiction, etc. The online pharmacy in India may be proved as dangerous if not regulated properly. So, it’s very necessary that regular authorities of India should think about this existing online pharmacy system and make some new rules where the quality of drugs and patient’s Safety.