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Pharmacy Controversy: Online Medication Sales at Artemis Hospital



Pharmacy Controversy: Online Medication Sales at Artemis Hospital
Image source: Defi Media

The Artemis Hospital Pharmacy in Curepipe has recently launched an online medication sales service, sparking controversy in the medical community. The Pharmaceutical Association of Mauritius (PAM) has expressed concerns that this initiative is illegal, while the hospital pharmacy argues that it is fully compliant with the law.

The PAM, led by President Ashwin Dookun, claiming that the hospital pharmacy’s online service contravenes Section 41 of the Pharmacy Act 1983, which prohibits advertising pharmaceutical products intended for human or veterinary use except in approved technical or professional publications.

According to Dookun, this means that the sale of medications cannot be done online.

However, Ravind Gaya, Head of Pharmacy at the Artemis Hospital Curepipe, disagreed.

He explained that the service is simply a “pre-purchase information” service, where patients can inquire about medication availability and prices.

Patients are required to provide their name, contact details (phone number and email), and prescription before receiving information on medication availability.

Gaya emphasized that all transactions are conducted legally and securely, with patients required to present their original prescription and identification at the pharmacy to collect their medication.

The payment process can also be done online after confirmation of availability.

The pharmacy specialized in “hospital-grade” medications for cancer treatment and antibiotics, among others. Importantly, medication is only available for collection at the pharmacy.

Despite PAM’s concerns, Siddique Khodabacus, President of the Pharmacy Council, explained that the hospital pharmacy can operate such a service as long as all regulations are respected.

He noted that there is no specific clause in the regulations prohibiting such a service.

However, he suggested that authorities should establish clear guidelines for online medication sales in the future.

The importance of clarifying regulations is crucial regarding online medication sales to ensure public safety and protect the integrity of the pharmaceutical industry.

Source: Defi Media

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