Online pharmacies are right platform to prevent antibiotic resistance in India: Dharmil Sheth

Nandita Vijay, BengaluruSaturday, September 24, 2016, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Online pharmacies are seen to be the right platform to stall the increasing antibiotic resistance. The antibiotic abuse is an epidemic which is slowly expanding to mar drug efficacy in India’s patient population. The overuse and irregular usage of antibiotics has created a crisis of microbial resistance in the country, stated Dharmil Sheth, co-founder, PharmEasy.

The stark reality is that antibiotics are abused in needless situations like common colds or diarrhea. While some efforts have been made by the government, academicians and professionals to stop its misuse, but there is a long way to go. India, with its high propensity for infectious diseases has fallen prey to antibiotic resistance. The reality is that antibiotics which is the core of modern medical practice, may become ineffective that even minor infections and surgeries could prove fatal, according to PharmEasy chief.

Stating that fatalities ensuing from antibiotic resistance are a cause of concern, Sheth sees e-pharmacies for drug sales proving to be an apt solution to stall the menace. It enables the right medicine for the right patient in the right dose. Prudent use of antibiotics is vital to prevent the emergence and spread of drug resistance. It is here that the e-pharmacies will create a digital medical record of the patient’s medicine consumption and ensure antibiotic resistance control, Sheth told Pharmabiz in an email.

There are several direct benefits by embracing the e-pharmacy model. Every transaction is recorded and tracked. There is no possibility of medicines being sold without prescriptions because this can easily be audited and verified. Dispensation is done by a registered pharmacist and from licensed pharmacy premises. Further, the e-pharmacies that are part of Indian Internet Pharmacists Association do not even allow sales of Schedule X and habit forming medicines through the online sales platform. Therefore, this model is best suited to enable drug recalls as there are purchase records of every transaction with the patient’s name, address, telephone number and email. The e-pharmacies also ensure all sales are recorded by batch number, expiry date with proper invoice and by a licensed pharmacist, he added.

We have already commenced medicine sales via e-prescription. From the PharmEasy’s mobile app, the consumer orders for a prescription pick-up which is authentic formats and approved by the doctor. The nearest physical pharmacy store, registered with PharmEasy sends the delivery person to collect the prescription and get the medicines delivered, explained Sheth.

The e-prescription model has a good acceptance as the patients trust the source of the medicines that they are consuming. Further the e:pharmacy customers have appreciated the convenience of the model to purchase the drugs much more efficiently, he said.