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E-Pharmacies Becoming Popular But Warrants Regulation For Unsafe Sale of Medicines

Health In Focus   - G J E 4
  • Consumer Online Foundation highlighted the latest consumer trends in buying medicines by a recent press conference.
  • The survey report revealed the risk of medicines being sold without prescriptions and proper records. It also revealed that 61% of people preferred online pharmacies for purchasing medicines.
  • The study on the perception of E-pharmacies conducted by Bureau of Research on Industry and Economic Fundamentals (BRIEF) showed that 76% of people responded that e-pharmacies were easier to access compared to offline mediums.
The latest consumer trends in buying medicines were highlighted by Consumer Online Foundation and Patient Safety and Access Initiative of India Foundation, in a recent press conference by releasing a letter addressed to the Government of India and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
 E-Pharmacies Becoming Popular But Warrants Regulation For Unsafe Sale of Medicines
E-Pharmacies Becoming Popular But Warrants Regulation For Unsafe Sale of Medicines
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Consumer Survey Report on Purchase of Medicines

A recent survey conducted by the Consumer Online Foundation and Patient Safety and Access Initiative of India headed by Mr. Bejoy Mishra revealed the risk of a rise in medicines being sold without maintaining proper records and prescriptions.

‘Online pharmacies are the latest consumer trends in buying medicines, but the Consumer Online Foundation highlighted the need for the Health Ministry to regulate the unsafe sale of medications through all mediums.’
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The survey also revealed that 61% of consumers preferred online medium for purchasing medicines.

The letter addressed by Mr. Bejoy Misra, Consumer activist and Founder of Consumer Online Foundation (COF), highlighted the findings of the survey conducted by COF and Bureau of Research on Industry and Economic Fundamentals (BRIEF).

Key Findings of the Consumer Survey

The survey report stated that about 50% of the people believed that selling medicines without a prescription is considered to be usual and 50% of people accepted that they buy medicines from pharmacies without prescriptions. Around 36% of the people said that they buy medicines without receiving any bill.

The survey also revealed that 90% of consumers now prefer online pharmacies to buy medicines. Senior citizens around the age of 55-74 prefer to buy medicines online as it is easier for them to avail medicines at their doorstep.

Mr. Bejoy Misra also stated that the survey would be useful to the sub-committee formed by the government to set up guidelines for Online Sale of Medicines. He also added that strict enforcement of all the relevant laws has to be initiated to avoid the use of unsafe and unhealthy medicines by the people.

Mrs. Bina Jain, Former President of All India Women's Conference (AIWC) and Board Member of Consumer Online Foundation, said that proper awareness among patients and consumers with sound information on quality and safety of medicines is important to initiate access to quality healthcare.

Online Pharmacies and its Advantages

The study on the perception of E- pharmacies conducted by BRIEF on 4600 respondents found online pharmacies to be beneficial compared to the offline mediums due to the adequate availability of medicines, qualified pharmacists for providing proper patient counseling, easy access for buying medicines through mobile apps, availability of medicines at convenient prices.

Around 76% of people responded that e- pharmacy would be convenient and easier to access for all age groups especially to the elderly as they can fit in all their medicinal requirements in one roof.

Reference:
  1. Consumer Online Foundation urges health ministry to regulate sale of drugs through all mediums - (http://www.pharmabiz.com/NewsDetails.aspx?aid=96131&sid=2)
  2. Consumer Survey reveals rise in unsafe purchase of drugs through offline mediums - (http://www.indiainfoline.com/article/general-others-factiva/consumer-survey-reveals-rise-in-unsafe-purchase-of-drugs-through-offline-mediums-116070700290_1.html)
Source: Medindia
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