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Madras High Court bans online sales of Medicines

The Madras High Court has banned the online sale of medicines till the central government notifies the rules regarding it. The court has also set January 31, 2019 as deadline to issue the notification. SK Chandra Kumar, a lawyer representing the Tamil Nadu Chemist and Druggist Association told that, ” the court has ordered a complete ban until players obtain a licence to sell it online.”

According to the association, though online shopping might be convenient for consumers but buying medicines from any unlicensed store may be risky as they can sell fake product or any product whose date is either expired or is about to expire, unapproved drugs or unsafe products that are dangerous to a patient and that may cause health risk for any person.

Medicines are not that simple part of commerce, they are important for a patient’s health and they must be administered to patients in a timely manner as prescribed by a registered medical practitioner and such drugs are provided under the direct supervision of a qualified pharmacist for the benefit of patients. Justice Pushpa Satyanarayan passed an order on a writ petition that e-pharmacies in the country can sell medicine only when they have the licence under the rules which are currently in draft stage. The petitioner claimed that there are more than 3,500 such websites in the country.

In August, the government had released its draft guidelines for online sale by pharmacies, ” any person who wants to conduct the business of e-pharmacy shall apply for the grant of registration to the central Licencing Authority in form 18AA through the online portal of the central government, the draft had said.

 

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Under the norms, the e – pharmacies are required to register a licence with the Drug Controller General of India which is valid for three years and also the sale of tranquilizers, psychotropic drugs, narcotics, and habit-forming drugs has been prohibited online.

 

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