Safety Concerns Over E-pharma
The DCGI had issued show-cause notifications to around 20 e-pharmacies for selling medications that were not intended for retail sale.
Points to Ponder:
- Due to consumer safety concerns, the Indian government‘s Union Health Ministry is wary of permitting e-pharmacy platforms to operate freely.
- The Health Ministry is concerned about unfettered access to drugs via e-pharmacy, the selling of substandard and habit-forming medications, patient and buyer profiling, and illegal data collecting.
- A legislative committee has urged the Health government to finalise and apply the e-pharmacy laws as soon as possible, but the government remains hesitant.
- The panel is concerned about the potential misuse of internet pharmacies in the absence of regulation, as well as the distribution of illegal or immoral drugs.
- Despite these concerns, the Indian e-pharmacy market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.20% from 2022 to 2027, reaching 89.47 billion.
- Insiders in the e-pharma business feel that tight legislation and a strong e-pharmacy code of conduct will benefit the industry more than a complete prohibition.
- The Indian Medical Association has urged for addressing issues such as drug addiction, misuse, self-medication, access to children, a lack of a mechanism to analyse adverse drug reactions, a lack of clarity on drug storage conditions, and a lack of a system for quick drug recall.