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India International Forum on patient safety and access to safe online pharmacies

| Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on March 01, 2017
Business Wire India
The Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM) India Initiative along with International Alliance of Patients’ Organisations (IAPO), Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP Global), Indian Pharmacopeia Commission (IPC), U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP), and leading consumer organisations have worked with the Government of India (GoI) to organize the March 1 - 2, 2017 International Forum titled “Patient Safety and Access to Safe Online Pharmacies”. “It is always a good practice to engage with all the stakeholders, especially the Patients, whenever policy makers contemplate to change existing laws or bring new laws in the interest of citizens,” said Shri Bejon Kumar Misra, Founder of PSM India Initiative and a leading activist in India on Patients’ Rights and access to safe and quality healthcare. Govt. of India is considering changes to the Drugs & Cosmetics Act to enable sale of prescription medicines through digital platforms (herein after “medicines”).
“It is very important to engage and collaborate with international experts and organizations to learn from and adopt relevant global best practices as we leverage technology to enhance medicine access & quality for citizens of India. The Government is taking significant steps to strengthen the pharmaceutical supply chain right from the manufacturer to the consumer, and evolving a technology based model to enable this. We intend to deliver the best model to our citizens, providing eAccess with proper safeguards. Specifically, we evolving a mechanism to register all pharmacies, including ePharmacies, and creation of a National Portal to act as the nodal platform for transacting and monitoring sale of drugs. The registered ePharmacies would come under direct purview of the regulator and would require to meet compliance requirements. All unregistered entities would then be easy to identify and address, once the legitimate players are known to all,” said Shri K L Sharma, Joint Secretary Ministry of Health and family welfare Government of India.
Forum speakers include high-level Government of India officials, India industry experts and international experts from the United States, Great Britain, Nigeria, Indonesia, France, the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP Global), INTERPOL, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, the International Alliance of Patient Organizations, India Internet Pharmacy association and others. 
According to Libby Baney, Executive Director of the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies, “ASOP Global is very pleased to be one of the partners in organizing this International India Forum. As India moves to allow Indian patients to purchase prescription drugs through Internet websites, it is important for the GoI to implement best practices to promote consumer awareness and to encourage cooperative activities with Internet companies, credit card companies and shipping companies so law enforcement and regulators to improve access to safe online pharmacies and take down websites selling illegal drugs.”
According to ASOP Global Board Member and former senior US Government Department of Commerce official Jeffrey Gren, “ASOP Global also recommends that GoI consider using pharmacy as a way for India to accredit and distinguish safe online pharmacies from illegal actors. ASOP Global stands ready to continue to provide expertise and assistance to India following the Forum.”
Forum’s goals and objectives include:
  1. Share information on global best practices on improving access to safe online pharmacies while combating illegal Internet drug sales
  2. Facilitate interactive discussion on safe online pharmacies public awareness campaigns.
  3. Facilitate interactive discussion on effective regulatory, customs and law enforcement coordination to remove spurious and not-of-standards medicines not sold through the legitimate supply chain.
  4. Coordination to develop a patient safety implementation framework by engaging with all the players in the healthcare delivery mechanism.
  5. Develop an Action Plan for India to implement and to promote patient safety utilizing all existing expertise and technology to empower Indian patients to make an informed choice.

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(Attn.editors: The above press release comes to you under an arrangement with Business Wire India. THE HINDU takes no Editorial responsibility for the same.)

Published on March 01, 2017
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