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The letter, a duplicate of which ET has seen, claimed that house supply can’t be undertaken by any on-line pharmacy and entities doing so are going through ‘contempt of court docket’. “E-pharmacies are illegal and not recognised by the laws under the Drug & Cosmetics Act. The rules also say sale of certain drugs need to be accompanied by prescriptions,” the letter claimed. It alleged that the federal government allowed house supply of medicines through the Covid pandemic for neighbourhood pharmacies.
Amazon India launched its pharmacy enterprise in Bengaluru final week and is conducting pilots in different cities. Besides Amazon, Reliance Retail too is foraying within the rapidly-growing e-pharmacy section by Smart Point retailers. Existing gamers within the class embrace Netmeds, 1mg, Medlife and PharmEasy.
Delhi High Court lawyer Ajay Tejpal mentioned the rising situation could require applicable amendments in numerous authorized provisions to steadiness out security with shopper demand in addition to pursuits of the pharmacy enterprise because it exists at current. “While foraying in the online pharmacy space may lead to allegations of breach of existing rules especially those concerning sale of prescription drugs and requirements of licensed pharmacists, the Covid situation has highlighted the genuine requirement of online sale of medicines,” Tejpal mentioned.
An e-mail addressed to Amazon India in search of remark remained unanswered until press time.
The medical affiliation’s letter additionally acknowledged that house supply of medicines would require intensive modification to the Drug and Cosmetics Act. “It (home deliveries) cannot be undertaken by any online pharmacy and entities doing so are already facing contempt of court proceedings,” the letter mentioned.
An EY report forecasted the marketplace for e-pharmacies to the touch $18.1 billion by the yr 2023, up from $9.three billion in 2019.
Industry watchers mentioned the sector gives greater margins in comparison with grocery retail because it eliminates the necessity for middlemen.