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Delhi HC Puts a Ban on Online Sale of Medicines Across India

In September this year, the Ministry of Health banned the manufacture for sale or distribution of 328 fixed-dose combination (FDC) drugs with immediate effect. Besides, it also restricted the manufacture, sale or distribution of six FDCs subject to certain conditions.

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Updated:December 13, 2018, 11:57 AM IST
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Delhi HC Puts a Ban on Online Sale of Medicines Across India
WHO found there is a lack of new treatments being developed to combat antibiotic-resistant infections, such as tuberculosis which kills around 250,000 people each year. (Photo courtesy: AFP Relaxnews/ martinwimmer/ Istock.com)
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New Delhi:​ In a landmark ruling, the Delhi high court has ordered a complete ban on the online sale of medicines across the country.

The HC also directed the Centre and the Aam Aadmi Party government in the national capital to ensure that the order is implemented immediately.

According to a report in The Times of India, a bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V K Rao passed the order on a PIL filed by a Delhi-based dermatologist.

The PIL expressed concern over the unregulated sales of medicines on the internet. Lakhs of medicines which are transacted through e-pharmacies every day, pose a huge risk to the patients and doctors alike, it said.

The plea also highlighted that the online sale of medicines is actually not permitted under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Pharmacy Act, 1948. “Unlike common items, drugs are highly potent and its misuse or abuse can have serious consequences on human health.”

In September this year, the Ministry of Health banned the manufacture for sale or distribution of 328 fixed-dose combination (FDC) drugs with immediate effect. Besides, it also restricted the manufacture, sale or distribution of six FDCs subject to certain conditions.

To regulate the sale of medicines online, the government had also come out with some draft rules. The draft norms stipulate that no person will distribute or sell, stock, exhibit or offer for sale of drugs through e-pharmacy portal unless they are officially registered.


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