New Delhi : The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) an apex business organization in association with Frost & Sullivan, a leading growth and strategy consulting firm, announced the launch of a whitepaper titled ‘‘e-Pharmacy in India Last Mile Access of Medicines” in the presence of Government dignitaries and the concerned stakeholders on July 25th, 2016 at New Delhi.
The whitepaper was released by Shri K. B. Aggarwal, Additional Secretary (Food and Drugs), and Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
The launch was followed by an intense panel discussion on the importance of the concept of e-Pharmacies and the deliberations on the need of guidelines/policies to ensure legitimate players delivering the benefits of the model to consumers, thereby, enabling wider access to medicines and improving public health. The panel’s participants included officials from the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Central Drugs Standard Control Organization, World Health Organization (WHO), and consumer activists. The event witnessed an engaging discussion between the concerned stakeholders of the Government as well as the industry.
The whitepaper highlighted the need for improving access to quality medicines to even the remotest part of the country in order to address the key challenges in India growing population, changing lifestyles, and increasing health hazards.
Frost & Sullivan prepared the whitepaper post exhaustive research and consultation with various stakeholders along with inputs from FICCI. Commenting on the event, Dr. Suhasini M., Consultant, Transformational Health (Healthcare) Practice, Frost & Sullivan, said, “Conditions like diabetes, hypertension, obesity, etc. require patients to regularly use medications. Poor adherence to medical treatment not only compromises patient’s health but also increases mortality, thereby impacting the economic growth of the country. Access to medicines remains a key challenge in India, which is primarily driven by unequal distribution of pharmacies in urban and rural India and inability of retail pharmacies to store a wide range of products, forcing consumers to visit multiple stores for procuring all the required medicines.”
She further highlighted, “With the use of technology and access to inventory of multiple stores at a time, e-Pharmacies can aggregate supplies, making otherwise hard to find medicines available to consumers across the country.”
The objective of this whitepaper is to understand the benefits of the e-Pharmacy model for the consumers, the industry, and the nation, and analyze its challenges and the policy level changes needed to address the concerns around the model.