IIPA Launches Code of Conduct For e-Pharmacy Sector
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New Delhi: The Indian Internet Pharmacy Association on Monday released the 'Self-regulation Code of Conduct' for the e-pharmacy sector, an attempt to adhere to the highest professional standards and to have proper safeguards to ensure consumer's health and safety.
According to the 'Self-regulation Code of Conduct', E-pharmacy will process scheduled medicines only against a valid copy of prescription (physical or scanned) of a registered medical practitioner and ensure that no schedule X and other sensitive habit forming medicines are processed through their platform.
"E-pharmacy must ensure that the medicines are dispensed through licensed pharmacies only. They must make reasonable effort to ensure that all the pharmacy partners (before facilitating the sale of any medicines through such pharmacy partners) are duly registered under the Drugs And Cosmetics Act/ Rules," the code of conduct said.
The player must make suitable arrangements to ensure that the medicines are packed, transported and delivered in such a way that their integrity, quality, and effectiveness are preserved, it said.
Besides, e-pharmacy players must partner with government for any recall of medicines and collect adverse events of medicines (consumer reports) and comply to submit them to National Centre for Pharmacovigilance.
It also said the online pharmacy sector must ensure a proper mechanism is in place to address any queries or grievances that the customer may have and an ombudsman commission be appointed to address any public grievance.
The Indian Internet Pharmacy Association (IIPA) is body formed by online pharmacy retailers in the country.
The code of conduct was released under the ambit of FICCI today.
"We need to embrace technology, in both offline and online models. There is a great opportunity to take this ecosystem ahead by leveraging the India stack using the existing infrastructure of Aadhaar and Digi-locker to maintain the repository of prescription, health records and monitor the dispensing of sensitive medicines.
"All pharmacies, online or offline, should check prescriptions on this locker," Arvind Gupta, Head of Digital India Foundation said.
Prashant Tandon, CEO and founder of 1mg mentioned that this group of progressive e-pharmacies have come up with code of conduct in the interest of consumers and as a group they look forward to productive engagement with the regulator to help make the Indian pharmacy sector a model sector.