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Online pharmacy operations and distribution of medicines
Traditionally, the distribution of medicines to consumers has been organized through heavily regulated networks of physical pharmacies. The strict regulation of market structure has been in place to ensure the safety, accessibility and affordability of medicines, but it has also limited competition in the pharmacy sector. Nowadays, the regulation of pharmacies differs between countries, and this has created different market conditions for online pharmacies to operate.
In some countries the online sales of medicines have grown considerably during the recent years as consumers have become more accustomed to e-commerce. More lately the Covid-19 pandemic has dramatically shaped the e-commerce landscape. Due to the pandemic, the demand for online services of pharmacies has increased significantly in many countries. It is also likely that this has changed preferences for some consumers permanently and demand should therefore remain at a higher level in the future.
Increased cooperation between countries in developing regulation of online pharmacies is needed, according to the report, “Online pharmacy operations and distribution of medicines”, which will be published by the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) on December 8th, 2021.
- Lars-Åke Söderlund, FIP Vice President, Executive Advisor, Apoteket AB, Sweden, Sweden
- Sarah Dineen-Griffin, Lecturer, Health Service Management, Charles Stuart University, Australia
- Catherine Duggan, FIP CEO, The Netherlands
- Manjiri Gharat, Principal, K. M. Kundnani Pharmacy Polytechnic, India
- Sari Westermarck, Community pharmacist, Finland
- Jacqueline Surugue, Immediate Past Vice President FIP, France
- Nadia Al Mazrouei, Assistant Professor, Sharjah University, United Arab Emirates (UAE)
- Jorge Schlottke, Pharmacist, Centro Oncológico Integral de la Provincia de San Luis, Argentina
- John Jackson, President, Western Pacific Pharmaceutical Forum, Australia
- Prosper Hiag, President, African Pharmaceutical Forum, Cameroon
- Jaime Acosta-Gómez, Community Pharmacist and pharmacy owner, Farmacia Acosta, Spain