Key Components of the Code of Conduct:

 All members commit to hold ourselves to the highest standards and voluntarily commit that our operations shall operate with the following safeguards:

  1. Processing of medicines against Prescription

Scheduled medicines must be processed only against a copy of a prescription (physical or scanned copy) of a registered medical practitioner (RMP) which fulfils criteria prescribed under applicable laws. To validate a prescription issued by a RMP, the E-Pharmacies will deploy digital tools to facilitate compliance of all mandatory requirements prescribed under the applicable laws. When processing medicines against prescriptions the licensed pharmacist must ensure compliance with all requirements under applicable laws, and exercise professional discretion with highest standards of professional conduct.

  1. Tele-consult for Consumers

 If deemed necessary by the registered pharmacists (by application of mind/informed judgement) and in line with requirements stated under Point 1, the consumers may be referred for tele-consult to RMPs who are required to conduct tele-consult in compliance with the applicable laws. The E-Pharmacies will deploy digital tools to facilitate solutions for the RMPs to ensure due compliance with the tele-consult laws. The E-Pharmacies will ensure there are periodic audits and checks conducted at a Platform level on the RMPs to assess compliance with tele-consult laws.

  1. Sensitive habit-forming medicines

 E-Pharmacy must ensure that no schedule X and other sensitive habit-forming medicines which are prohibited for retail sales, are processed from their platform. The list must be updated periodically and shared with all the players. E-Pharmacy will deploy tools to ensure there are adequate checks and balances in place to prevent sale of any such drugs.

  1. Dispensation only from duly licensed pharmacy domiciled in India

E-Pharmacy must ensure that the medicines are finally dispensed through licensed pharmacies only. E-Pharmacy must make reasonable effort to:

  • Ensure all the Pharmacy partners (before facilitating the sale of any medicines through such pharmacy partners) are duly registered under the Drugs & Cosmetics Act/ Rules. The platform will assist deploy technology and tools which will help the pharmacy partners to comply with the applicable laws.
  • Ensure that the sale of medicines (or facilitation of sale of medicines) is only within India.
  • Ensure that pharmacy (or pharmacy partner) must provide the consumer a tax invoice containing name and license number of pharmacy, medicines dispensed, prices, batch number and expiry date by item
  • The platform will assist deploy technology, tools and digital solutions which will help the pharmacy partners to comply with the applicable laws which includes maintenance of required records by pharmacy partners and dispensation of drugs under personal supervision of registered pharmacist.
  1. Delivery of Medicines

 Medicines must be delivered safely and with appropriate instructions. When delivering medicines to the patient, the e-pharmacy player/licensed pharmacist must:

  • Help assist in deploying technology and digital solutions which will help the pharmacy partners to maintain integrity, quality & effectiveness during last-mile delivery of drugs.
  • Help in educating the pharmacy partners on the importance of compliance of protocols prescribed under law for delivery of drugs to customers in a compliant manner.
  • Ensure that there is verifiable audit trail for the medicine from initial request to delivery of medicines
  1. Public Health Initiatives of Government of India
  • E-Pharmacy players must partner with Government for any recall of medicines based on batch number communicated by the appropriate authorities.
  • E-pharmacy player must partner with regulatory authorities/other relevant stakeholders and actively contribute to the “National Pharmacovigilance Programme” for collecting and reporting adverse events from consumers.
  • E-Pharmacy players must support Government initiative of Jan Aushadhi medicines by creating awareness in the consumers and must actively educate consumers on potential health concerns.
  1. Customer Grievances

E-Pharmacy must ensure that there is a proper mechanism in place to address any queries or grievances that the end-customer may have. E-Pharmacy players must:

  • Appoint an ombudsman commission comprising of 3 reputed members of civil society to address any public grievance. The Ombudsman commission shall be appointed for six months by members of the governing council in consultation with other stakeholders.
  • Consumers through this emerging channel are able to order medicines in a convenient manner from their mobile phones or computers. This will significantly help patients who are old and sick and not in a condition to go out to find a pharmacy. This is also pertinent with the increasing nuclear family concept, working couples, increasing number of elderly populations, and urban development in the periphery of the metro cities.
  1. No Substitution of Drugs except as per Applicable Laws

 E-pharmacies will ensure that pharmacists dispensing prescriptions containing certain specified drugs do not engage in substitution of such drugs except with prior approval of RMPs and as prescribed under the applicable laws.

  1. Patient Data Confidentiality

E-Pharmacies will ensure that medical data shared by consumers is used and handled in a responsible manner as per and in compliance with applicable laws and the privacy policies which are made available to the consumers on the platforms. Particularly, anonymized data to be made available to regulatory authorities (on request of such authorities and/or if determined at the E-pharmacies’ discretion) and to be used by the E-pharmacies only for progressive research in pharma and healthcare industry directed towards benefit of public. No patient data to be transported outside of Indian Territory.

  1. Fair and Equitable practices to be adopted by the E-Pharmacies

E-Pharmacies will ensure that all pharmacy partners, service providers/vendors and customers are treated in a fair and equitable manner in line with applicable laws and no unjustifiable or irrational preferential practices are adopted towards any of the mentioned stakeholders. Towards achieving this objective, a Fair Practices Code which shall form part of this Code of Conduct shall be adopted by the E-pharmacies.