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International Forum on Patient Safety And Access to Safe Online Pharmacies

International Forum on Patient Safety And Access to Safe Online Pharmacies


New Delhi


As the internet continues to grow in popularity, immense new opportunities arise, and online pharmacy is one of them, An online pharmacy or internet pharmacy is just like a brick and mortar pharmacy that operate over the Internet and delivers the orders to customers through the shipments, Online Pharmacy has the potential to provide proper digital tracking of medicine sales, prescriptions, doctors and patient’s information; thereby reducing the problems of counterfeit medicines and their abuse.

 

The government may back online pharmacies amidst the long-drawn battle between chemists and online medicine retailers in the country. The laws for online pharmacies are basically derived from Drug and Cosmetics Act 1940, Drugs and Cosmetic Rules 1945, Pharmacy Act 1948 and Indian Medical Act 1956. Aside from this, there are certain high court judgments that have provided further insights and interpretation of the laws over online pharmacies. The Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, and the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945, have strong guidelines on the sale of Schedule H and Schedule X drugs. These can be sold only on prescription and there are specific rules, including for drug labelling. These regulations are expected to improve the patient's access to quality medicines.

 

Illegal online pharmacies in India have become a life threatening nuisance and it is not the case that our regulatory authorities are not aware of this dangerous trend. In fact, they have taken some steps and are working to curb online pharmacies. They are holding deliberations with the drugs administrative committee and pretty soon the illegal online pharmacies operating in India may be prosecuted.

 

In this regard, an International Forum on Patient Safety And Access to Safe Online Pharmacies was organized by Consumer Online Foundation and Patient Safety and Access Initiative of India Foundation along with Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Department of Consumer Affairs, Government of India on 1st and 2nd March, 2017, at New Delhi. The event was attended by 160+ delegates from India and around the world.

 

The forum concluded on using public-private partnerships (PPP), leveraging the aspects of internet-based technologies and engaging private sector service providers. This is to set the basis of a comprehensive policy to address this universal public health concern.

 

Steps should be taken at country levels to make paramount amelioration of existing regulations focusing online pharmaceutical transactions. Withal, there is an insistent need at the national level to formulate common guideline focusing issues of online pharmacy.

 

At an individual level, if proper precautions are taken in the selection of the online pharmacy, one can be safe from the menace of counterfeit medicines and unregistered online pharmacies.

 

At an individual level, if proper precautions are taken in the selection of the online pharmacy, one can be safe from the menace of counterfeit medicines and unregistered online pharmacies.