What is the procedure to open a online pharmacy in India?
In India, There is no special provision or act present that can describe, regulate and specify online pharmacy. Online Pharmacies also follow drug and Cosmetic Act and Rules made there under. Along with Drug and Cosmetic Act, it should also follow the rule and regulation mentioned under Information Technology Act.
For setting-up online pharmacy, you will require to either set-up own online pharmacy website/mobile app or need to create seller account at existing online pharmacy portals.
Before setting-up own online pharmacy website/app or making seller account at existing online pharmacy portal, you need to set-up a physical pharmacy as in case of traditional pharmacy. Requirement and document will be same for online pharmacy as we have discussed in our article: How to start Pharmacy in India?
You will require a pharmacist at your online pharmacy for receiving and processing prescription uploaded by patient or his care taker. Offline Pharmacy set-up is mandatory for selling medicine online with complete documents and procedure.
Here we take a short look at documents and necessities for starting Offline Store First and then sell medicine online.
- Retail Drug License
- GST number
Retail Drug License:
Retail drug license is issued by District Drug Control Officer who provide drug license as per guidelines issued by State Drug Control Officer. You need to visit district drug control office for applying retail drug license number. Procedure for applying retail drug license may be online or offline as per state policy, you are going to apply.
Requirement and documents for Setting UP Online Pharmacy:
- Area required: Minimum of 100 square feet
- Registered Pharmacist: All related documents photocopy will be attached along with Drug License application form
- Rent agreement or ownership proof of premises
- Blue print of premises (3 copies)
- Address Proof of Premises
- Refrigerator and Air conditional Purchase Bill
Goods and Service Tax Number (GST):
GST is mandatory for firm having annual turnover above 20 lac but in case of online sale GST may be compulsory for all firms/persons having any amount of annual turnover. Read complete detail about applying Goods and Service Tax Identification Number here
After taking retail drug license and GST number, you need to set-up online presence. Online presence could be set-up by either building own e-commerce pharmacy website/app or creating a seller account at already present online pharmacy websites/apps.
Completing above step, you can start selling medicines and drugs online.
What’s coming new:
Government is in process to regulate online sale of medicine by making amendment in Drug and Cosmetic Act and Rule. For knowing new regulations and amendments, we have to wait for new government policy.
Online Pharmacies could have to follow following provisions:
- Requires a valid Prescription
- Online Pharmacy should have Physical Address so drug authority can inspect quality and standards of online pharmacy store
- Government is planning to launch a common portal where all online pharmacies must have registered their self.
- Online Pharmacy License will be issued by State Drug Control Authority.
- Presence of Pharmacist is must for collecting prescription and answering the questions of the consumers.
- Pharmacy can’t dispense habit forming medicines and schedule X drugs.
- Prescription Drugs (Schedule H and Schedule H1) can only be sell out against a valid doctor prescription.
- Online Pharmacies have to comply with e-commerce standards covered under IT act, 2000.
Hope above information is helpful to you…
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