IAPO member’s patient safety forum attracts global recognition
You know your meeting is going to make a difference globally when two of the most powerful medical regulators turn up at your event. IAPO member, Consumer Online Foundation, pulled off this feat when it hosted a two day International Forum on Patient Safety and Safe Access to Online Pharmacies in New Delhi (India) in March 2017.
Specifically, the US’s regulatory body - Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and its counterpart in Europe, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) - through the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) - were represented at the event.
This comes at a time when there is an upward trend in the usage of online pharmacies around the world, which has raised optimism about addressing the existing gaps in traditional pharmacies.
Analysts say online pharmacies have the potential to provide proper digital tracking of medicine sales, prescriptions, doctors and patient’s information; thereby reducing the problems of counterfeit medicines and their abuse.
Online pharmacies are a future reality and will flourish around the world as patients are already conducting much of their purchasing of health services and medicines online now in many countries. The patient voice had to be heard and patient engagement was crucial in this global policy area.
Key speakers included India government officials, industry representatives and international experts from the United States, Great Britain, Africa, South East Asia and Europe, alongside key organizations such as Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies, INTERPOL, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, India Internet Pharmacy Association, FDA and EMA.
This was a great opportunity for Indian patient and consumer advocates to engage with, not only FDA and EMA, but also with the Indian Federal Regulator and some 20 Indian State regulators; health is still an individual state matter in this 27 state and 7 union territory federation.
Well done Bejon Misra, from Consumer Online Foundation, for attracting the key policy makers of India and the world to such an important event!