Central drugs regulator asks states, UTs to stop online sale of medicines

New Delhi: With the government deciding to stop online sales of medicines, the pharmacists' body sees an employability opportunity in it as the online portals have been directed to not to sale drug through portals without obtaining pharmacist license.

As per a letter of the drugs controller general of India (DCGI) VG Somani, it has been stated that all states and Union territories have been directed to stop the sale of medicines through unlicensed online platforms till draft rules to regulate e-pharmacies are finalised and put in place.

The DCGI's letter dated November 28 cites a Delhi High Court order dated December 12, 2018 in a case filed by dermatologist Dr Zaheer Ahmed. The letter was sent by the DCGI to all state drug regulators and the Union Health Ministry for their information and action.

Commenting the issue, Sadhu Ram, who is vice president of Federation of Indian Pharmacist Organisation, said, "Now the every e-pharma company would have to hire pharmacist and medicines would be sold only after approval of the pharmacist."

"Most of the online drug portals are not in possession of any license. They are selling medicines as a service provider and not a pharmacist. Now to get the license, they have to have pharmacists on their board," Ram said.

The Delhi high court order had said that drugs were sold online in violation of the Drugs and Cosmetics (D&C) Act. However, e-pharmacies continued to sell online, after securing a stay from the Madras High Court.

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