Amazon India Will Sell Medicines: Prescription, Ayurveda Medicines Can Be Bought On Amazon
Another strategic move by the e-commerce giant, Amazon as it spreads its wings in the key growth market by launching an online pharmacy in India on Friday.
Further, the company plans to serve the southern city of Bengaluru.
Currently, Amazon.com Inc.’s online pharmacy, Amazon Pharmacy, has been rolled out in Bengaluru.
The company allows its customers to order home medical supplies, prescription medication, supplements, ayurvedic medicines and healthcare devices, among others, according to its website.
However, before placing orders, the customers will have to upload the medical prescription.
In a statement, Amazon said that the service, “Amazon Pharmacy”, will offer both over-the-counter and prescription-based drugs, basic health devices and traditional Indian herbal medicines.
Still, the launch timeline details are not clear.
Amazon’s Competition With Rivals
There is an ongoing competition between the rivals like Walmart-owned Flipkart, billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s upstart online grocery service JioMart and a range of other smaller players.
During the pandemic, it is clear that demand for grocery, alcohol and last but, not the least medicins will never end.
In the former two Amazon has already entered, with this new launch of the pharmacy product line, will definitely help in thriving the business.
Apart from this, Amazon decided to open 10 new warehouses in India and start offering auto insurance last month.
On top of that, the company had also secured clearance for alcohol delivery in one Indian state, Reuters reported in June.
Protest Against Online Pharmacy
So far, India is yet to finalize regulations for online drug sales, or e-pharmacies.
However, we can not avoid the growth of several online sellers like Netmeds, Medlife, Temasek-backed PharmEasy, and Sequoia Capital-backed 1mg which has already has started threatening the position of traditional drug stores.
In their defense, Amazon said that they comply with all Indian laws as many trader groups continue to protest against e-pharmacies, saying that would lead to the sale of medicines without proper verification.
The legal head of South Chemists and Distributors Association in New Delhi, Yash Aggarwal said, “Amazon’s customer base is very high, so we are bound to lose business. There are 5 million families dependent on this (offline) trade,”.
Further, he said that the group will raise objections against Amazon’s move with the government.