Is it possible to open an online pharmacy in Ukraine?
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The sphere of online trading in Ukraine assumes greater significance every day. This is also true for the purchase and sale of medicines. So, it’s time to talk about starting an Internet pharmacy in Ukraine, Are there any legal grounds for this and what is the real situation?
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What does the law say about starting an Internet pharmacy or drug exchange portal?
The current legislation stipulates that trade in medicinal products may be conducted only through pharmaceutical institutions - pharmacies and pharmacy branches.
A mandatory requirement to a pharmacy branch is that it must be located in a healthcare facility.
There are a number of requirements for a pharmacy, but the key ones are as follows:
- It shall be located in a permanent structure;
- It shall have equipped specialized premises for storing and distributing medicines.
That is, the concept of the Internet pharmacy is not provided for by the legislation, and trade in medicines via the Internet is prohibited.
At the same time, there is an increasing demand for ordering medicines online. In this regard, as early as in 2018 the State Service of Ukraine on Medicines and Drugs Control initiated the revision of the policy on sale of medicines, but the legislation remained unchanged (both in terms of deregulation and strengthening of control).
The State Service of Ukraine on Medicines and Drugs Control recommends on its official website not to use this method of purchase of medicinal products, and warns drug dealers that it reserves the right to use information from their websites during the license inspection. If it is established that the licensees sell medicines in violation of the law, the relevant information will be transferred to law enforcement agencies.
What are the alternatives and how to organize the process?
First of all, you can’t just develop a website where you will offer medicines - you shall start a pharmacy/pharmacy branch in accordance with the law and obtain a license for trade in medicines.
Such a pharmacy may have its own website containing a list of available medicinal products.
Read also: Does It Make Any Difference Where To Start A Pharmacy?
Secondly, under no circumstances should medicines be sent by mail. There are two ways to arrange for remote dispensing of medicinal products:
- By a courier. Do not confuse it with courier delivery service. Let’s imagine a situation that is formally within the law. There is a list of medicines and related products that can be sold without a prescription. The buyer sees a list of available goods on the pharmacy’s website and sends a courier to pick up them. At the same time, the pharmacist who sells the medicines is not obliged to know who is standing in front of him/her and whom a person buys the medicines for.
- Customer pickup. That is, a client orders drugs online and come to pick up them directly at the pharmacy. In this case, the requirement for dispensing of medications through pharmacies is also not violated.
If you want to find the best options for starting your business or if you need assistance in obtaining a license, don’t hesitate to call us.
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