Amazon India to sell medicines through online pharmacy store in Bengaluru

E-commerce giant AmazonInc said it will launch an online pharmacy in India that will serve the city of Bengaluru, moving to widen its reach in a key growth market.

E-commerce giant AmazonInc said on Friday it will launch an online pharmacy in India that will serve the city of Bengaluru, moving to widen its reach in a key growth market.

The service, “Amazon Pharmacy”, will offer both over the counter (OTC) and prescription based drugs, basic health devices and traditional Indian herbal medicines, the company said in a statement, without giving a timeline for the launch.

 

The move comes amid increasing competition in India with rivals Walmart-owned Flipkart, billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s JioMart and a range of other smaller players.

Last month, the company decided to open 10 new warehouses in India and start offering auto insurance.

 

India is yet to finalize regulations for online drug sales, or e-pharmacies, but the growth of several online sellers such as Medlife, Netmeds, Temasek-backed PharmEasy and Sequoia Capital-backed 1mg has threatened traditional drug stores.

 

The companies have said they comply with all Indian laws even as many trader groups continue to protest against e-pharmacies, saying that would lead to sale of medicines without proper verification.

 

“Amazon’s customer base is very high, so we are bound to lose business. There are 5 million families dependent on this (offline) trade,” Yash Aggarwal, legal head of South Chemists and Distributors Association in New Delhi, said on Friday.

 

The group will raise objections against Amazon’s move with the government, he said.

Source: Reuters 

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