Government may soon finalise e-pharmacy rules which would regulate online platforms selling medicines and issuing medication. According to sources, a regulatory framework is likely to be worked out to ensure proper monitoring and registration of such platforms, due to rising concerns over possible misuse of such avenues for distribution of illegal or outdated medicines.
Sources further said that the draft e-pharmacy rules would be aimed at removing all the uncertainties prevailing in the fast paced digital markets in the absence of any regulation till date.
The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) and the pharmacy industry are likely to work out the e-pharmacy rules which would be in form of a regulatory framework, sources said further.
During consultations between the department and the industry, concerns over possible misuse of such avenues for distribution of illegal or unethical medicines or outdated, substituted, or counterfeit medications amid absence of regulations have been raised.
Stringent regulation of the e-health and e-pharmacy sector is essential in view of the potential harm it can cause to health of end user in case misuse, a source aware of the development said.
Therefore work may soon start on drafting e-pharmacy rules to regulate and also register online platforms selling medicines and issuing medication.
The rules may include aspects like due diligence measures to be undertaken by the e-pharmacy or e-health platforms, mandatory registration with the appropriate authority for sale of drugs, assigning responsibility on such platforms for the sale of genuine drugs and regulating the sale of controlled drugs.