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The Artemis Hospital Pharmacy recently launched an online medicine sales service. Except that this announcement arouses controversy. The Pharmaceutical Association of Mauritius (PAM) considers this approach to be illegal. But the Artemis Hospital pharmacy believes it complies with the laws.

Based on the law concerning the sale of medicines, the PAM denounces the new online service offered by the pharmacy of Artemis hospital in Curepipe. According to its president, Ashwin Dookun, this approach is illegal. He highlights Section 41 of the Pharmacy Act 1983: “no person shall advertise any pharmaceutical product intended for human or veterinary use except in such technical or professional publications as may be approved by the Board”. “By law, the sale of medicines cannot be done online,” he says.

However, the Head of Pharmacy at Artemis Curepipe hospital does not share this opinion.

“The service we offer is like a pre-purchase information service. Some patients ask for information over the phone,” explains Ravind Gaya. For him, there is nothing wrong. He explains that the patient must send his name and contact details (telephone number and email) and his prescription to inquire about the availability of medications. Everything is done legally,” he says.

Delivery is only made to the pharmacy upon presentation of the original prescription and proof of identity, he adds. For him, this new service can save time for patients. Especially since payment can also be made online after confirmation of availability. The patient then collects the product from the pharmacy. The Artemis Curepipe hospital pharmacy specializes in “hospital medications” for cancer and antibiotics, among others. There is no delivery of medicines.

Although PAM objects to the new service, Siddique Khodabacus, chairman of the Pharmacy Council, believes that the establishment can operate such a service if all regulations are followed. He explains that there is no clause in the regulations that prohibits such an online service. However, he notes that the authorities should provide regulations on this.

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