FICCI raises concern on delay by govt in notifying E-pharmacy rules
NEW DELHI: With the ongoing delay in the notification of e-Pharmacy draft rules, industry body FICCI has recently show concern pointing out that the delay on the lawmaking front is causing confusion and anxiety for all the stakeholders involved in digital health ecosystem.
e-Pharmacies operate on the inspiration taken from Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi's vision of 'Digital India', stated the Industry body in its release
"Currently, there are 50+ start-ups operating in e-Pharmacy space in the country, which provides quality and affordable medicines to about 50 lakh patients per month across the country and has served patients across 19000 + PIN codes. About 30,000 skilled professionals are employed by the sector. e-Pharmacy sector has attracted Rs 4000 crore plus in FDI from some of the top global investors, and another Rs 2000 crore is expected in the next 2 to 3 years. Thus, the sector has huge potential to attract FDI, which directly contributes towards the economic development of the country. Moreover, in e-Pharmacies, all transactions have a complete digital trail and can be fully tracked bringing transparency in pharma supply chain. Every order dispensed through e-Pharmacy is against a prescription and has a valid bill, therefore, tax to the government is paid in full," the statement stated
Pointing out that the requisite laws are in place but there are certain difficulties that the sector has been facing towards ease of doing business due to regulatory uncertainty, adding that pending Draft e-Pharmacy Rules. e-Pharmacy Draft Rules Provide Sector Specific e-Commerce regulations - aim to harmonize existing laws/guidelines.
The delay in the notification of e-Pharmacy draft rules is causing confusion and anxiety for all the stakeholders involved in digital health ecosystem, FICCI stated.
Mr Prashant Tandon, Chairperson, FICCI e-Pharmacy Working Group, said, "e-Pharmacies abide by FICCI Code of conduct for e-Pharmacies, and comply with the laws of the land. All the orders for prescription-based medicines are processed only against a copy of valid prescription and are dispensed by a licensed pharmacy having a registered pharmacist. e-Pharmacies strictly do not accept orders for habit forming medicines, narcotics, or any other sensitive medicines. Additionally, given the importance of the e-Pharmacy sector globally, several large investors have recently reached out to the e-Pharmacy players, expressing concern about the general investment and regulatory climate in India and have asked for clarifications. Given the government's solid track record in making India 'Open for Business' we have been trying to allay their fears".
Meghna A Singhania is the founder and Editor-in-Chief at Medical Dialogues. An Economics graduate from Delhi University and a post graduate from London School of Economics and Political Science, her key research interest lies in health economics, and policy making in health and medical sector in the country. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact no. 011-43720751