Internet pharmacies may finally be legal in India. With close to 50 serious players who account for a combined turnover of `1,500 crore, one would say it is about time that the government came out with regulations for the industry.
Two weeks back the Madras High Court asked e-pharmacies to shut down by 20 December and asked the Centre to notify regulations; and then again suspended the ban after a group of e-pharmacies filed an appeal. Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court also recently banned online sale of drugs and medicines. Once the new regulations come in, internet pharmacies will have to register with the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) and get requisite state licences for wherever they are based.
Meanwhile, once e-pharmas get the stamp of legitimacy, and provide deep discounts, traditional pharmacies will have to step up if they are to stay in the game. The end beneficiary, this time round will be the patient.