Mumbai: The tie up between Maharashtra police and India’s largest pharmacy aggregator, PharmEasy has been a runaway hit. Within a fortnight of the tie up 1,000 police men and women from Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai and Pune downloaded PharmEasy’s app and nearly 385 availed the service seeking cost-effective and easy access to medicines.
PharmEasy’s retail partners have dispensed medicines worth Rs.328, 180 to policemen and their families ever since the tie-up came into effect on March 1, 2016 bringing about savings of Rs.82, 045 to police personnel and their families.
Speaking about his experience of getting free home delivery of medicine Mr. Shivaji Jagtap, police sub inspector (PSI) attached to traffic branch of Mumbai Police said, “I have to spend more than Rs.500 per month for my wife’s medicines. But after ordering medicines through PharmEasy, we managed to save around Rs.125 and it is quite a big relief to families like us in these days of high inflation. Importantly, the medicines were delivered at the concessional rate at my door step, so that I don’t have to worry about leaving my post during rush hours for getting medicines.”
The pharmacy aggregator, PharmEasy, which provides an online platform connecting end-users to retail pharmacies, has entered into an arrangement with Maharashtra police. As per the tie-up, police personnel and their families can avail medicines through PharmEasy App at a discount of 25% and get diagnostic tests done at a concessional rate of 40%.
The first of its kind innovative tie-up is being run on a pilot basis in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane and Pune and is expected to benefit nearly 1.2 lakh serving and retired police personnel and their families. Depending on its success, it will be rolled out further in the other parts of the state.
Dharmil Sheth, Co-Founder and Director of PharmEasy said, “We are proud to be associated with Maharashtra Police, who risk their lives for ours. We consider it is our privilege to bring medicine and diagnostic services to these brave police personnel and their families at affordable rates and provide convenience of home delivery while doing so.”
After customer uploads photo of the prescription on PharmEasy’s app, physical copy of prescription is picked up from customers home, which is in turn examined by the pharmacists at a nearby medical store with a valid drug license from the FDA. Only after examining the physical prescription and counseling the patient over phone, the medicines are delivered to the customer.
It is pertinent to note that PharmEasy is an ethical online intermediary with self-imposed code of conduct. PharmEasy’s neighbourhood partner retailers do not sell anti-depressant drugs, psychotropic drugs, habit forming drugs and drugs related to pregnancy, without the physical presence of the patient along with the prescription, even though they are prescribed by the Registered Medical Practitioner.
“PharmEasy is not does not come under the ambit of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Rules, 1945, and hence the question of violating its provisions does not arise at all. In fact, it is an intermediary tool, as defined under the IT Act, 2010, for easy and convenient access to nearby medical stores (that have a valid drug license from the FDA) for the general public. It is aimed at providing seamless and cost-effective access to medicines and nearby medical stores to common man with the help of technology”, Mr. Sheth added.
He further said comparing PharmEasy with e-pharmacies is wrong as it does not manufacture, store or sale directly any medicine. Infact, all transactions, including billing, counseling is done by retailers with a valid drug license issues by the FDA under the personal supervision of a registered pharmacist.
The unique concept like PharmEasy as a neighborhood pharmacy aggregator has come as a boon to patients for chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, heart ailments etc. The model is crucial for the nuclear family structure, where an ailing consumer can avail doorstep facilities, by simply using the power of a mobile phone.
At a time when the Government is pushing Digital India initiative for extending services to citizens in a convenient fashion, online platforms like PharmEasy aim to provide access to medicine to consumers at affordable rates through use of technology and empowering small and medium scale licensed retailers.
It is a well known fact that home order pharmacy, or pharmacy aggregation, is a well established concept in developed countries such as China, USA, Australia and United Kingdom and India is fast adopting these phenomena through technological platforms like PharmEasy.
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