The legalization of drug sales over the Internet will significantly raise the level of trade in this segment. According to experts, one year after the ban is lifted, the online sales of pharmaceutical products could range from 16.5 billion to 37.5 billion rubles.
Under the current Russian law, the direct sales of medicines over the Internet are banned. The legislation allows to order the drugs on the website of pharmaceutical organization, but the buyer has to pick up his order personally.
“The total volume of this business (drug sales over the Internet), including both legal and gray markets, is estimated to be between 20 billion and 25 billion rubles in 2016. We must understand that, after the approval of amendments to the law, it (editor’s note – the market) should increase, I think, by many times. In the first year after the ban is lifted, it may be up by 50%,” said Nikolai Bespalov, the Development Director of RNC Pharma, an analytical company. According to his estimates, the share of the gray market in online sales of medicines is currently about 7-10%.
Now, the draft law on online sales of drugs is in the government, said Elena Maksimkina, the Head of the Department of Drug Provision and Medical Devices of the Ministry of Health. “The draft law has been prepared, it passed all basic approvals and, in any case, I believe that it will move forward,” added Ms. Maksimkina.