Update on August 20: The All India Organisation of Druggists & Chemists, which has consistently opposed the functioning of e-pharmacies, has said in an open letter to Mukesh Ambani, that it is disheartening to see that Reliance invest in an industry which is illegal and not recognised under the Drugs & Cosmetics Act. * The online pharmacy space, which the government is yet to give regulatory certainty on, is consolidating with Reliance Industries buying a majority stake in Chennai-based online pharmacy NetMeds, and the merger of two existing e-pharmacies — MedLife and PharmEasy. Reliance's acquisition of NetMeds Reliance Retail has bought a 60% equity stake in Vitalic Health, the parent company of online pharmacy NetMeds, for ₹620 crore, as it moves closer to competing with e-commerce giant Amazon. The deal grants Reliance Retail 100% ownership of Vitalic's subsidiaries — NetMeds Marketplace, Tresara Health, and Dadha Pharma Distribution. Like Jio Platforms, Reliance Retail is a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Ltd. Over the past few months, Google, Facebook, and roughly a dozen other companies have invested in Jio Platforms. Vitalic's FY20 turnover amounted to a net loss of ₹184.3 crore, while NetMeds suffered a net loss of ₹164.15 crore. Reliance Retail will further acquire another 20% stake in Vitalic by 2024, with an option to increase it to 100% ownership. "The aforesaid investment will further enhance affordable availability of essential quality health care products & services by the group, while furthering group’s digital commerce initiatives, with user access across all daily essential…
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