Parliamentary panel seeks implementation of e-pharmacy rules without delay
Recently the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce has published a report titled ‘Promotion and Regulation of E-Commerce in India’.
In this report, the committee has recommended the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoH&FW) to finalize the draft e-pharmacy rules and implement them without any delay.
Other key observations of the committee-
- Despite several objections and concerns over the online sale of medicines, it is not regulated. These objections and concerns have been expressed mainly by chemist shops.
- Concerns have also been raised over the distribution of illegal or unethical drugs or old, substituted or counterfeit drugs in the absence of regulations.
- E-pharmacy is a type of pharmacy. Under this, medicines are sold through the Internet and delivered to the customers.
Benefits of e-Pharmacy:
- Easy to order prescription medicines.
- Saves money and time,
- Provides a variety of options compared to traditional pharmacy etc.
Disadvantages of e-Pharmacy:
- There is a lack of physical assessment capability. This means that drugs can be directly tested at the pharmacy,
- Medicines can be delivered to patients without a doctor’s prescription,
- There is also a risk of the confidentiality of personal and financial information being exposed etc.
Key recommendations of the committee –
MoH&FW needs to frame comprehensive guidelines.
These guidelines should include the following –
- Due diligence to be followed while selling medicines through e-pharmacy/e-health platform;
- Compulsory registration with the appropriate authority for online sale of medicines, etc.
- Finalization and enactment of the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 is imperative. This is because the Bill will provide guiding principles for making rules regarding the ownership and storage of data.
Source – The Hindu