Sunday 29 July 2012

Pharmaceuticals E-Commerce Legal Issues In India

E-commerce has become one of the premier choices of retail industry in India. Further, traditional business houses are also exploring the possible use of e-commerce to expand their brick and mortar business.

A common mistake that most of e-commerce service providers in India are making is avoidance of requisite legal formalities in this regard. Legal formalities required for starting e-commerce business in India cannot be ignored as their breach may attract both civil and criminal actions.

Thus, legal requirements to start an e-commerce website in India must be duly meet before jumping upon the e-commerce platform. This is more so regarding companies entering into pharmaceuticals e-commerce in India. Presently, online sale and purchase of prescribed drugs and medicines in India is a risky venture that must be undertaken only after fully complying with the legal formalities prescribed in this regard.

According to Praveen Dalal, managing partner of India’s exclusive techno legal ICT law firm Perry4Law, while we have basic level e-commerce legal framework in India yet e-health related legal framework is missing. For instance, e-health in India is facing legal roadblocks. Till now we do not have any dedicated e-health laws and regulations in India. The legal enablement of e-health in India is urgently required, suggests Praveen Dalal.

According to Praveen Dalal, legal issues of e-commerce in India vary as per different business models. For instance, electronic trading of medical drugs in India requires more stringent e-commerce and legal compliances as compared to other e-commerce activities. Digital communication channels for drugs and healthcare products in India are scrutinised more aggressively than other e-commerce activities. In fact, regulatory and legislative measures to check online pharmacies trading in banned drugs in India are already in pipeline, informs Praveen Dalal.

In a parallel development, the FIPB postponed pharmaceuticals sector FDI proposals in India. Further, India is also planning to reduce prices of expensive patented drugs to make medicines affordable to its predominantly poor population. The expiring medicines patents could boost pharmaceutical e-commerce in India as well.

The scope for pharmaceuticals e-commerce in India is bright provided e-commerce stakeholders duly take care of the applicable legal provisions in this regard.