Online Selling of Medicines without Qualification

Sale of drugs in the country is regulated under the provisions of Drugs & Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Rules, 1945 thereunder by the State Licensing Authorities (SLAs) through a system of licensing and inspection. SLAs are legally empowered to take stringent action against violation of provisions of the Act and Rules.

It has been noted that there are certain online portals selling medicines. Some concerns have been raised by certain stakeholders against the online sale of medicines.  In order to regulate the online sale of medicines comprehensively, the Government has published draft rules vide G.S.R. 817 (E) dated 28th August 2018 for inviting comments from public/stakeholders for the amendment to the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945 for incorporating provisions relating to the regulation of sale and distribution of drugs through e-pharmacy.

The draft rules contain provisions for registration of e-pharmacy, periodic inspection of e-pharmacy, procedure for distribution or sale of drugs through e-pharmacy, prohibition of advertisement of drugs through e-pharmacy, complaint redressal mechanism, monitoring of e-pharmacy, etc.

The Minister of State (Health and Family Welfare), Ashwini Kumar Choubey stated this in a written reply in the Lok Sabha here today.

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