New Delhi–Widespread use of the internet will improve accessibility and affordability of medicines in India, said a white paper on ‘e-Pharmacy in India’ by industry chamber FICCI on Monday.

The paper notes that India is experiencing a rapid transition with the rising burden of chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which currently accounts for around 60 percent of the total deaths and is due to rapid urbanisation, increased motorisation, mechanisation and sedentary lifestyle, especially among the working age groups.

According to the paper, the factors driving the demand for e-Pharmacy in India include rising number of people with unmet medical needs due to large population and increasing penetration of internet in both urban and rural India.

“With the rapidly changing consumer behavior in India, there is a huge demand for accessing a wide range of products at the click of a button, and at competitive prices,” the statement said.

According to the paper, it is expected that the e-Pharmacy model could account for 5-15 percent of the total pharma sales in India, largely by enhancing adherence and access to the medicines for a lot of under-served population.

The paper found a positive perception regarding e-pharmacy among medical practitioners as almost 90 percent of respondents perceive it as an acceptable means of sale and purchase of pharmaceutical products.

It recommended for a separate licence and registry arrangement for e-Pharmacy players and dispensation of drugs should be undertaken through the physical pharmacy, duly licensed under Part VI of the Drug Rules. (IANS)