Selling OTC Drugs through post offices

Post offices are all set to turn into pharmacies in rural India. In another attempt to offset declining postal revenue, the department of posts has tied up with herbal and medicinal product companies to sell their products at post offices. Tie ups are in place in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Uttarakhand. Talks are on for similar alliances in other states. In the next stage, Post Offices will stock over-the-counter (OTC) drugs that are sold without any prescriptions.
The proposal to get post offices to sell pharmaceutical products was first mooted by the Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India. The department of post's move will increase the market size and reach. There are about 150,000 post offices, most of which are located in rural India. Importantly, the postal department feels such measures will also help it reduce its revenue deficit. The postal department's revenue deficit for the fiscal 2006-07 was about Rs 1,250 crore and is estimated to be Rs 1,291.34 crore this fiscal.

- Contributed by Vaibhav Agarwal