Amazon has made a foray into India's online pharmacy market. The service has been launched by the e-commerce major in Bengaluru to begin with. The company plans to carry out pilots in other cities as well going ahead. With this launch, Amazon India joins the league of healthcare start-ups such as Practo, NetMeds, 1mg, PharmEasy, Medlife, among others.
The development comes at a time when people are preferring to stay at home and order products online amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Amazon's foray into the e-pharmacy sector comes months after the launch of its food delivery service in India.
"As a part of our commitment to fulfill the needs of customers, we are launching Amazon Pharmacy in Bengaluru allowing customers to order prescription-based medication in addition to over-the-counter medicines, basic health devices and Ayurveda medication from certified sellers. This is particularly relevant in present times as it will help customers meet their essential needs while staying safe at home," an Amazon spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, India needs a future-ready digital health system and it has become even more urgent in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, a white paper released by industry body FICCI said on Thursday. E-Pharmacy provides a building block for such a digital health ecosystem to ensure efficient and affordable universal health coverage, it added. "The need for a future-ready digital health system has become even more urgent with the COVID-19 pandemic. A strong health system must have a strong and resilient digital backbone," the white paper said.Also read: PM Modi unveils faceless tax scrutiny; faceless appeals service to start from Sept 25