An online pharmacy is an internet-based vendor that sells medicines and includes both legitimate and illegitimate pharmacies. Independent just-internet sites, online branches of “brick-and-mortar” pharmacies, and sites representing partnership among pharmacies fall under the purview on “online pharmacies.”
Contemporary times are witnessing a surge in E-commerce, including online shopping, and this includes the sale of prescription and non-prescription medicines too. The concept of online pharmacies and online sale of medicines has been in vogue worldwide for more than two decades. An estimated 2986 online pharmacies were operating all around in the year 2008, the numbers of which would have risen starting today. Indian consumers too have begun utilizing these online services in the recent times.
The most important bane is that laws for E-commerce are badly defined and subject to varied interpretations. Different laws, for example, the Information Technology Act, 2000; the Drug and Cosmetics Act, 1940; Drugs and Cosmetic Rules, 1945; Pharmacy Act, 1948; and the Indian Medical Act, 1956, govern the online pharmacies in India. A considerable lot of these, including the Drugs and Magic Remedies Act, under which drug advertisements are regulated, were written when use of computers and the internet was not as prevalent as it is presently.
Laws do exist for online pharmacy stores in most countries. As per the Indian laws, medicines can be sold just by a registered pharmacy that has a retail license and a registered pharmacist on payroll. A prescription for medicines ordered is required, except available to be purchased of over-the-counter items. Orders for medicines can be taken just from areas where the pharmacy retail license applies. Every one of the medicines must be verified and certified by the registered pharmacist before delivery.
However, there is an ambiguity regarding shipping of medicines starting with one state then onto the next and whether a pharmacy is allowed to collect money before delivery of medicines. Exporting medicines in a few countries, directly to the customers is exceptionally regulated. Furthermore, no provision exists to recognize the prescription written by a doctor who isn’t registered in your country. Schedule X medicines can’t be sold to customer without prescription. It is imperative to keep up customer records including name of the patient, doctor, and address for every Schedule H and Schedule X medicines sold by the pharmacy.
Selling medicines to minors (under age 18), selling banned drugs, and selling medicines at a cost higher than the most extreme retail price are prohibited. Extra techno legal requirements related to privacy, diligence to cyber laws, data protection, and internet advertising are required to be complied with, by these pharmacies.
The boon of online pharmacies is that it offers preferred valuing over disconnected stores, with expanded access, they bring down transaction and product costs, accommodation and more noteworthy anonymity for consumers. They offer accessibility to individuals with limited mobility and individuals in remote areas. These give medialerts (customized medicine reminder benefit), discounts, doorstep delivery in a brief time frame, and validation of prescription through licensed drug specialists online.