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Online Medicine in Delhi

Life for the everyday working bee in the national capital has increasingly become dependent on the internet and the various life-saving apps and services it offers. While the national capital still boasts of a robust “nukkad ki dukaan” and a loyal customer culture, most young and tech-savvy residents are finding internet based solutions for their day to day needs. The top reason for this rising lean towards e-commerce sites and shopping is all about the convenience, customer experience, the speed of delivery and, discounts and cashback offered by your e-commerce platforms. What started with the online sales of books and electronic essentials, has now grown to encompass clothes, shoes, home appliances, even your grocery, and vegetables. When every need of your home is available on the internet, an online pharmacy was bound to rise to cater to the needs of a tech-savvy society.

Order Medicines Near Delhi

Benefits of Buying Online Medicines in Delhi:

As we head into an increasingly digitized era, buying medicines online proves to be much more beneficial. Shopping through the internet makes sure that we have a saved record of all our purchases to help us keep track of our shopping, in addition, most e-commerce platforms give extremely attractive discounts with home delivery. However, these aren’t the only benefits of buying through e-pharmacies. Here are some more benefits of buying medicines online:

1. Convenience:

Buying Online Medicines Benefits

E-pharmacies offer an individual with the option and comfort to order healthcare products at any time of the day.

There is a rising population of single working individuals, elderly and people suffering from chronic pollution-related health issues. Buying medicine online and getting home delivery comes as a comfort to those who are in no state to step out of the house.

2. Awareness:

Online Medicines Awareness

Most online medical stores not just put up a description of the medicine you are about to buy, they also put up other information about the drug.

Like the combination of salts/chemicals present in it, its variants and alternatives in Ayurveda and Homeopathy, side- effects (if any), and in some cases even mechanisms of how the drug interacts with the body to suppress the symptoms of a disease.

3. Access:

Online Pharmacy Access

Although e-pharmacies are criticised for being only for the rich, the reality is far from it. In metr`o cities, especially the national capital, nearly every household has a smartphone and at least one member of the household knows how to shop online.

Online pharmacies in fact, offer home delivery impartially (free home deliveries are offered by some sites on a minimum shopping order). However, online pharmacies don’t just make medicines easily accessible to the poor, they also enable the elderly, patients suffering from chronic health issues, pregnant women, persons with locomotor disability to get medicines with ease.

4. Record of Orders:

Record of Orders

All organized online pharmas, keep a track of your shopping by date. These records can help track and prevent drug overuse as well self-medication.

In addition, repeat order records of certain drugs could enable your physician and you in identifying a pattern and calculating and preventing the risk of any chronic illness.

5. Records of Transactions Made:

Records of Transactions Made

 

Each transaction made is recorded by your medicine app, enabling you to keep a track of your expenses, as well as ensuring that you are not being cheated by your pharmacist.

 

 

6. Data for Future Policies:

Benifits of buying online medicines

The pattern of demand of certain medicines could give the government valuable data about the kind of prevalent illnesses within Delhi.

This data could then help the government in making area-specific policies and programs for chronic and seasonal ailments, unique to that particular area of intervention.

7. Authentic Medicines:

Authentic Online MedicinesThere have been several concerns regarding the authenticity of medicines available on online pharmacies. These concerns, however, are ill-informed. Pharmacies have a more transparent approach to delivering healthcare products, which puts them under the spotlight at all times. E-pharmacies are take extreme care about the kind of products they stock, most medicines are procured from licensed and genuine stockists or from the pharmacy companies directly.

8. Cost-Effectiveness Choice:

Cost EffectivenessE-medicine shops do not have the constraints of maintaining offline pharmacies all over the city, this helps in dropping their cost of business which in turn allows them to offer great cashback and discounts. Online pharmacies also provide one with a plethora of options, to buy the same drug as the cost-effective generic medicine or from a brand whose price ranges may vary according to the name of the brand.

9. Discretion/Protection of Privacy:

Protection of Privacy

There are several illnesses and conditions which a patient may want to keep private, a luxury they cannot expect from a store near them.

General data has shown that people under medication for mental health issues prefer to buy medications online as it protects their private details.

 

How to Buy Online Medicine in Delhi?

Delhi, being the national capital and a metro is a prime location for most organized e-pharmacies. Buying through internet platforms is a fairly easy and hassle-free task, here is a step by step guide on how to buy medicines through the internet:

  • Buying Medicines as Guest:

  1. Visit m.medlife.com.
  2. Upload your prescription
  3. Select the medicines and the amount you wish to buy and click on proceed to checkout.
  4. You will be taken to a form, fill out your details like name, address, pin code, and phone number.
  5. You will be taken to a billing page next, you can enter any coupon code you would like to redeem. Medlife also offers a flat 25% discount on first order and flat 20% discount on every order from thereon. (Check currently running offers with coupon code)
  6. Press on continue and you will receive an OTP on your number, enter it to place your order.
  7. You will receive confirmation call from Medlife for your order, once the confirmation is completed, your order is accepted and delivered to you within 48 hours. (Please note that from the order to the delivery process, Medlife will be in constant contact with you through messages and calls about the status of the order.)
  • Buying Medicines from Your Account:

  1. Open your Medlife App.
  2. Upload your prescription.
  3. Select the medicines and the amount you wish to order. If you have records of previous orders of the same products in similar quantities, the system will prompt you about your previous shopping, asking you if you would like to repeat the order.
  4. Select the name of the patient and the address from your list of saved addresses and proceed to checkout.
  5. Medlife offers a flat 25% discount on first order and a flat 20% discount on repeat orders. However, you can further add a coupon code if you have one.
  6. Once you have placed your order, you will get a confirmation call post which your order is accepted and delivered to you within 48 hours. (Please note that from the order to the delivery process, Medlife will be in constant contact with you through messages and calls about the status of the order.)

What to do if you don’t have Prescription?

There are some common drugs like paracetamol which actually require a prescription but are sold over the counter. However, since the digital process is automated, it will ask for a prescription for all prescription drugs, no matter how common they are. As happens with a large number of migrant individuals living in Delhi, the doctors they trust live in another location. Thus, even if they have consulted a healthcare provider before buying any medicines, they do not possess a written or digital instruction for the same.

Recognizing this dilemma faced by several people in the national capital, Medlife- one of the best online pharmacies, has launched a unique service called e-consultation. Here is how you can get an e-consultation:

  • Accessing E-Consultation as A Guest:

  1. Visit the Medlife Online Pharmacy Website
  2. Click on “Don’t have a prescription”
  3. You will be directed to an instructions page, click on “Got It” and you will be moved to an online form.
  4. Fill in the requested details and click on “next”
  5. You will be directed to a landing page, on top of the page you will be given a time slot between which a healthcare expert from Medlife’s expert panel will call you.
  6. Below this information, you will have the option to order your medicines and explain your symptoms in words as well as apply for discounts on the medicines ordered, click on next.
  7. You will receive an OTP, which you have to enter on the landing page you are on and click next to record it.
  8. Once you have placed your request you will get a call to confirm your request as well as your order.
  9. The expert will call you at the stipulated time, you will get 10 minutes to explain your symptoms in detail. Depending on your symptoms, the expert will create an e-prescription corroborating your order, which will be automatically updated on your order.
  10. Once your order has been confirmed, you will receive the order within 48 hours. (Please note that from the order to the delivery process, Medlife will be in constant contact with you through messages and calls about the status of the order.)
  • Accessing E-Consultation From Your Account:

  1. Open your Medlife App or visit Medlife Online Pharmacy section and Login.
  2. Opt for “Don’t have a prescription”
  3. You will receive a time slot for your call, you will also be able to order your medicines in the meanwhile.
  4. Select the name of the patient, fill in any discount coupon names you have and place your order.
  5. You will receive a call to confirm your request as well as your order.
  6. The expert will call you at the fixed time, and you will get 10 minutes to explain your symptoms. Depending on your symptoms, the doctor will create an e-prescription corroborating your order, which will be automatically updated on your account and will be saved as part of your order records.
  7. Once your order has been confirmed, you will receive the order within 48 hours. (Please note that from the order to the delivery process, Medlife will be in constant contact with you through messages and calls about the status of the order.)

The Rise of Online Medicine Stores in Delhi:

The inception of e-pharmacies goes way back to the dot-com bubble era. But when the dot-com bubble burst like several of its contemporaries, e-pharmas also took a backseat. Over the years as e-commerce built itself, the idea of internet pharmacies started doing the rounds again, and it re-entered the market again around the year 2014. Delhi being a metro and national capital was one of the few places in India which was targeted during the first wave of online medical shops in India. While the national share of online medical shops in the market in 2016 was around 38%, New Delhi’s preference for online pharmacies shows a very promising future. The data specifically shows that the use of and demand for internet chemist shop has risen from around 27% (2013) to around 70% (2017) in just four years. If you look at the graph below, this rising trend proves that in the coming period, more and more individuals will opt for online pharmas.

A graph showing trend of ordering medicines in Delhi region

What is an Online Medical Store?

Online chemist shops are arenas which give an individual with the opportunity to get an e-prescription and buy medicines from one place at discounted rates and expect delivery at their doorstep, without even leaving the warmth of their homes. An e-pharmacies is like your Amazon or Flipkart but they sell medicines. Although online chemist shops are a nascent domain, there are already several major players in the market. According to a research report by Ken Market Research the penetration of internet in Indian markets has risen from 0.5% in the year 2000 to 38.6% in July 2016. In a space of over 15 years, internet and online applications have captured nearly 1/3rd of the Indian medicine market and the future predictions are in their favour. Today’s long work and travel hours make it difficult for an individual to fulfill household chores. Most of the working population today is migratory in nature, with individuals moving to cities which hold the most promise for them, in the end, it becomes difficult for them to care about family members who are living in another place.

An e-medicine shop becomes a great enabler for them. These individuals can now make certain that their loved ones are getting their medicines on time. It also allows individuals to maintain their stock of medicines for regular use or emergencies without waiting in long queues at the chemist.

There are two models of online pharmacy models:

1. Organized Online Pharmacy:

Organized online pharmacies need the end user to submit a prescription which is then checked by a registered pharmacist. Once the pharmacist approves of the subscription, the order is delivered to the patient’s doorstep. The organized online chemists follow two models:

1. Market-Based Model:

Under the market-based model, the online pharmacy connects the end user to the nearest medical shop, which currently has available stocks of the medicine ordered. This pharmacy then delivers the medicines to the end user.

2. Inventory-Based Model:

Under the inventory based model, the online pharmacy is online service offered by an offline chemist shop. Here, the pharmacy is directly responsible for delivering the medicine.

2. Unorganized Online Pharmacy:

Unorganized pharmacies are online pharmacies which provide medicines to the patient without requiring a prescription from them. There are no measures to ascertain the genuineness of the order made or of the medicines being delivered because of the absence of a licensed pharmacist. Customers should beware of such pharmacies as they may be selling addictive drugs/expired drugs in an unregulated manner, endangering the lives and health of people in the process.

Regulations on Selling and Buying Online Medicines In India:

The rising popularity and preference of online chemists also raised several concerns, like how they can override all regulations made for offline druggists and sell medicines in an unregulated way. This concern was linked to the bigger concern of drug abuse, if online chemists did not have a regulating policy, they could sell any drugs which could be harmful to the body or may even have an addictive nature without facing any repercussions for it.

The other concern was the genuinity of medicines sold online when online pharmacies had entered the medicine market, several individuals were concerned about the safety and originality of these medicines. In fact, to this date, some customers are concerned about the absence of any regulatory laws for online sale of medicines.

However, while the current government has been supportive of, even promoted going digital for everything, it has taken great care about the safety of its citizens. There is an Online Pharmacy Regulation proposal that the government is meditating on, this proposal is designed to be dynamic enough to regulate all present and future forms of online medicine stores. In the meantime, it has been mandated that online pharmacies will be regulated by:

  • Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945:

The Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945 regulate the manner in which drugs are bought, stocked and sold. They contain clear instructions for the chemist to sign and stamp every prescription while selling prescribed medicines.

They also have strict regulations for the sale and procurement of Schedule H and Schedule X drugs, restricting their sale to prescription only.

The chemists are instructed to record the sale of schedule drugs separately and also maintain a ledger of every drug sold.

Although, the act and rules came much before the age of the internet, therefore there is no differentiation between online and offline.

  • Pharmacy Act, 1948:

The Pharmacy Act of 1948 states that only a registered pharmacist can compound, mix and sell medicines. There are also set procedures and paperwork to be followed before a pharmacist is considered credible enough to compound, mix, create and sell medicines on his own. There are also provisions for fines and punishment for pharmacists who practice mixing and selling medicines without procuring a proper license first.

  • Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954:

Provisions in the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954 clearly prohibit advertisements about certain diseases. This was brought to being to discourage wrong communication of diseases and promotion of prescription medicines by drug making companies and pharmacies as wrong information potentially endanger the lives of several patients.

  • Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985:

The illegal sale of drugs and substances listed under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 is a punishable offence. Such online platforms are expected to take care of the quality of the products they make available.

  • Information Technology Act, 2000:

The Information Technology Act, 2000 regulates the legal aspects of online dealings. It was designed to protect the interest of customers and prevent their exploitation or any unfairness at the hands of an e-commerce company. E-drug stores broadly fall under the purview of this document, as far as fair treatment to the customer and protecting the customer’s interests are concerned.

  • Pharmacy Practise Regulation, 2015:

This regulation has been beneficial to the functioning of online pharmacies as it validates and legalizes online prescriptions. The act defines a prescription as the written or electronic direction from a registered medical practitioner or other registered practitioners to the chemist to compound and make available specific amounts of a medicine to the patient. This regulation legalises scanned copies of prescriptions, making it easy for online pharmacies to ask clients for a scanned copy of the prescription before delivering the drug at their doorstep. This regulation has also helped e- pharmacies in launching services like online consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Pharmacies:

1. How reliable are online medicine stores?

With the number of security measures and regulations followed by internet based chemist shops, they are in some cases much safer and reliable than an offline drug shop. Online medicine shops have transparent and trackable operations. You have all the proofs and records at your disposal, thus, if an internet pharmacy indulges in any foul play, they can be held responsible for the same; this fact and the strict compliance policies that nearly all organized sites adhere to makes them extremely safe for making a purchase.

2. What are the confidentiality policies, terms and conditions of online drugs shops?

All organized online pharmacies are sensitive to a patient’s privacy and confidentiality and hence every detail entered by a patient are handled by authorized personnel only and these details are never shared with anyone else.

3. How is a patient’s privacy secured during the E- Consultation process?

Privacy is one of our fundamental rights thus, a patient’s sensitive information and confidentiality are protected by the MCI Ethics Code of 2002. All doctors take an oath to protect the secrets of the patient until and unless direct by the government or state to do otherwise. The panel of doctors providing e-consultation is governed by this same code and hence are duty bound to protect the personal details of the patient.

*Terms and Conditions apply to this service

4. How do online medicine stores ensure the quality of their medicines?

Most organized shops buy their medicines from either licensed stockists who have established their credibility or aim for direct tie-ups with leading and credible brands like GSK, Alkem and so on.

5. What are generic drugs and why do they look different and how safe are they?

Generic drugs are pharmaceutical drugs which are equivalent to their branded counterparts in make, strength, usage, dosage, quality, performance and method of administration but they do not come with a brand name and hence are cheaper. They look different because there are regulations in place which dictate that these drugs do not look like other branded medicines.As mentioned above, generic medicines are equivalent to branded medicines in all aspect except cost and look.

6. How do I share my prescription and why do I need to upload a prescription?

You can share a scanned copy or image of your prescription by opting for the upload prescription option on the medicine store app or website. But you are required to ensure that the patient’s name and age, prescription of medicines, doctor’s signature, clinic’s name and registration number and date of the prescription made are clearly visible in the prescription.There are several regulated drugs in the market which need a doctor’s seal before being made available to the patient. The Government of India took this step to protect individuals from the harmful effects of self-medication as well as to prevent unregulated drug abuse.

7. I am a resident of Delhi, if I order from an online shop, how long will it take for them to deliver medicines at my address?

In metros, healthcare products are ideally delivered within 24 hours of the order made, however, in case there is a shortage of stocks, most online pharmacies guarantee delivery between 24- 48 hours of the order being accepted.

Buy Medicines Online

*Medlife delivers to select locations in National Capital Region (NCR): Gurugram (Gurgaon) and Noida

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