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Drug controller cracks whip on e-pharmacies selling drugs without licences

Last December the Delhi High Court had said online sale of medicines without a licence was injuncted, and had instructed the government to ensure that the same was prohibited forthwith


The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has sent a directive to the state drug regulators to take “necessary action” in accordance with the Delhi High Court’s order of December 2018 that barred online sales of medicines without a licence. At present, no licence is issued for online pharmacies as such as there are no comprehensive rules to regulate the sector. E-pharmacies follow the marketplace model whereby they operate through a licensed medicine retailer partner to service a prescription or order that they have generated through their online platform. Sources in the government said if the current model was allowed to continue, then what was the need to have rules to regulate the space. “The draft rules to regulate online pharmacies were released last year, but are yet to be notified. Until they are notified, the e-pharmacy model cannot be allowed to operate,” said a senior government official. A group of ministers (GoM) had recently met to discuss regulations for epharmacies. The industry feels otherwise. Senior executives of leading e-pharmacies in the country said they would wait until the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) issued a formal notification saying that the current model of servicing customers through generating prescriptions online would not be allowed….click here

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