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Amazon, the e-commerce giant, has launched an online pharmacy in Bengaluru. This comes as a latest move to widen its business in India after spending billions on the Indian market in recent months. The coronavirus pandemic has seen a major boost in the online drugs business during the lockdown.

Amazon Pharmacy

‘Amazon Pharmacy’, as it is called, will offer both over-the-counter and prescription-based drugs. It will also provide basic health devices and Ayurveda medicines.

According to BBC, Amazon filed to trademark the name Amazon Pharmacy in the UK, Australia and Canada in January. It was looking to start the online pharmacy in India sooner but had to postpone due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

It will be competing with established local players like NetMeds, 1mg, PharmEasy and Medlife in this segment.

The All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD) has written a letter to Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos against the e-commerce giant’s entry into the online pharmacy segment in India. The letter has been addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Amit Shah and other top government officials as well.

AIOCD in its letter has said that the online pharmacy is illegal in India and against the interest of public health. It added that the Delhi high court has put a stay on online pharmacies and that the government had allowed it only because of the lockdown.

Amazon has been investing heavily in India in the recent months. It has been trying to expand its business to various sectors amid increasing competition. Its competition Flipkart recently launched its hyperlocal delivery service. Reliance has also entered the e-commerce segment with Jiomart. Amazon is also conducting a trial with its food delivery service in few parts of Bengaluru.

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