Amazon today confirmed that it will launch an online pharmacy named ‘Amazon Pharmacy’ in India and it will serve the city Bengaluru first. This move from Amazon might be due to increasing competition in India with rivals Walmart-owned Flipkart, billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s online grocery service JioMart and a range of other e-commerce companies.
Amazon Pharmacy Agenda
Amazon Pharmacy will offer both over-the-counter and prescription-based drugs, basic health devices, and traditional Indian herbal medicine. This move by the e-commerce giant is to widen its reach in a key growth market.
Amazon has to compete with several online sellers such as Medlife, Netmeds, PharmEasy, and 1mg. These online pharmacies have already threatened the traditional drug stores and now Amazon. “Amazon’s customer base is very high, so we are bound to lose business. There are 5 million families dependent on this (offline) trade,” Yash Aggarwal, legal head of South Chemists and Distributors Association in New Delhi, said on Friday.
India is yet to finalise regulations for online pharmacies but the companies said that they comply with all Indian laws. But the trader( offline ) groups continue to protest against online drug sales, saying that would lead to sale of medicines without proper verification. “The group will raise objections against Amazon’s move with the government“, Yash Aggarwal said.