Central government's move to allow e-sales of medicines is being opposed by the Druggists and Chemists Associations in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. They opined that drugs and medicines are not commodities like electronics.
Medicines that come under Schedule H and H1 are to be sold strictly with doctor's prescription only. But if online sales of these medicines are allowed, there are possibilities that the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 may be violated as there are no foolproof mechanism available to prove the authenticity of doctor's prescriptions sent online by the consumer.
There are concerns in regard to supervision and inspection of the online drug stores, safety and quality of drugs delivered and in case there are any adverse drug reactions whom should the patient approach, etc. There are also possibilities that people may become addicted to habit formation medicines like sleeping pills and pain killers. If these are sold online then there will be no control on such users and it will prove fatal to the society in the long run.
The Druggists And Chemists Association in AP and TS also fear that allowing e-pharmacies will ruin the business of retail pharmacists in the country and leave almost one crore people jobless who are directly or indirectly surviving on it.
"We are vehemently opposing the government's move to allow online sales of drugs. As a mark of our protests, all the druggists and chemists associations across the country organized complete shutdown of medical shops on October 14 and received full support. Overall we are expecting that the government will heed our concerns and shun away from its plans to allow e-sales of medicines," said Jagadeesh, executive committee member and former vice president of All India Chemists and Druggists Association (AICDA).
According to the chemists and druggists association experts, if e-sales of drugs and medicines is allowed, the country and the society on the whole will be at a loss. As the drugs and medicines are highly regulated commodities and need constant supervision for their quality and safety, it is tough for the government to regulate and monitor its use in the villages and remote areas.
"The chemists and physician relation is vital in delivering right kind of medicines to the right patient. In case of drug reactions and any other untoward events the patient can approach the nearest doctor or chemists for remedies, but if the medicines are delivered online, where the patient goes and whom will he approach for remedies," opined a chemist.