The Egyptian Pharmacists Syndicate has taken legal action against online applications that sell pharmaceutical products to the public.
The syndicate recently filed a complaint with the prosecutor-general accusing Vezeeta, which launched its e-pharmacy service in February, of violating Egyptian laws that govern the advertising of healthcare services and products, as well as breaking Law 47 of 1969 concerning the pharmacists syndicate establishment and Law 3 of 2005 relating to protecting competition.
The syndicate also said that Law 127 of 1955 bans selling medicines outside traditional pharmacies in order to protect patients’ lives.
In 2020, the Pharmacists Syndicate filed nine reports with the prosecutor-general against a number of applications and online platforms for not conforming to its resolution banning the selling or purchasing of medicines from online sources.
A number of traditional pharmacies in the Egyptian market have also launched mobile apps that deliver medicines through online services where patients upload their prescriptions.
Vezeeta said in a statement on Thursday that the legal actions taken by the Pharmacists Syndicate obstruct patients’ ability to receive medicines in a fast and easy way, which is one of the Egyptian state’s targets concerning using technology in the healthcare sector.
Vezeeta, which launched its e-pharmacy in February, is an Egyptian healthcare platform that serves the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
The company said in its statement, which was sent to Ahram Online, that Vezeeta and its associated activities in the market have been established through a fund financed by number of government bodies in Egypt, in addition to international investment corporations from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, the US, Sweden, as well as the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a World Bank member.
It added that its e-pharmacy localises digital technology in the healthcare sector in Egypt and spurs investments in such a promising sector, especially amid the COVID-19 crisis.
It also said that it provides the e-pharmacy service through authorised pharmacies working in the domestic market, and that it is committed to the legal procedures set by the Egyptian health ministry, the drug affairs department and the Consumer Protection Agency.
Vezeeta also clarified that it provides pharmacies a management service through its Vezeeta e-Commerce company, which is registered with the General Authority for Free Zones and Investment (GAFI) in Cairo and Giza governorates.