The Union Government is fully alive with the distortions and gross disturbance made by online pharmacies in distribution and sale of medicines through their online portals and the matter is under active consideration and needy steps will be taken soon to streamline the activities and no one will be allowed to violate the law and the rules- said Union Health Minister Shri Mansukh Mandaviya to a delegation of the Confederation of All India Traders ( CAIT) which met him today at his office at New Delhi. The CAIT delegation was led by its Secretary General Mr Praveen Khandelwal.
Khandelwal said that Mandaviya gave a patient hearing to the delegation and expressed his concern on the business modalities of the online pharmacy companies. He said that present Eco-system of small chemists all over the Country which is rendering yeomen services will not be allowed to be disturbed.
Earlier, Khandelwal while handing over a memorandum to Mandaviya said that the online pharmacies in India are grossly flouting the Drug & Cosmetics Act,1940 and its associated rules causing substantial damage to business of more than one crore small chemist shops in the Country.
Khandelwal further said that online pharmacies do not own any responsibility of drugs sold by them and in case of spurious or fake drugs, they wrongfully take shelter of section 79 of the Information Technology Act which provides immunity to marketplace by classified them as “intermediary.
Khandelwal also called upon Shri Mandaviya to bring necessary changes in draft proposals spelled out in notification G.S.R. 817 (E) dated 28th August, 2018 to amend the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945 which would enable the operation of e-pharmacies in India. The proposals are yet to be notified.
Mr. Khandelwal also said that o in a sector which is directly related to health of people, it is unfathomable that an unlicensed operator that too, an intermediary can be permitted to operate without any responsibility. In light of the above, it is essential that only those that own and hold their own inventory and have obtained the license under the Act and the amended rules can be permitted to operate as an e-pharmacy. Further, they need to ensure that drugs are dispensed from the premises licensed under the Act and by the qualified pharmacist who is licensed and registered under the Act.