New Delhi, India—New Delhi, April 21, 2018—India’s drug industry will soon be able sell its products through a digital platform and be able buy its drugs online for the first time.
The country’s Drug Regulatory Authority (DRAC) said Tuesday that it will begin allowing the digital marketplace in early 2021.
“We want to be in a position to have all our medicines available to our consumers, as they have never been before,” DRAC chairman Anil Goyal said at a press conference on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Goyal and DRAC chairperson Shashi Tharoor will hold the official launch of the digital platform on April 28.
“It’s going to be a real game changer for us,” Goyal added.
The agency said it will enable drug sales to be made through a variety of platforms.
The DRAC is expected to launch the platform within two years.
The service is expected have a value of about $3 billion, the agency said.
It will not be able charge for the drugs that are currently available on the market, and will be able only for purchases made through the platform.
The regulator said the platform will allow drug companies to register their products online and allow them to sell them for an average price of about Rs1,000 per gram.
The drug industry has been battling a number of drug safety and efficacy issues over the years.
Last year, India’s Food Safety and Standards Authority (FSSAI) warned that the drug industry could face a crisis as more and more patients are turning to online platforms.
“With the digital space, we can now offer an affordable and efficient delivery service to consumers,” Goy said.
He added that the DRAC will not have a monopoly on the sale of drugs.
“This is a game changing event.
There will be no more restrictions on drugs sold through the digital market,” he said.
The government has invested $2 billion in the sector, and has pledged to introduce legislation on digital drug distribution.