Madras High Court grants stay on online drug sales

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on October 31, 2018

The Madras High Court has granted an interim stay on the sale of drugs online till November 9. Justice R Mahadevan also directed the Centre to file a counter affidavit on the matter.

The interim stay was granted based on a petition filed by the Tamil Nadu Chemists & Druggists Association (TNCDA), which appealed to the court to direct the authorities concerned to block links to all websites that sell medicines online.

The affidavit, filed by KK Selvan, General Secretary, TNCDA — which has nearly 30,000 members engaged in pharmaceuticals retail and wholesale trade — claimed that various websites are selling drugs in violation of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945.

There are over 3,500 sites dealing with online medicines across the country.

The petitioner alleged that purchasing medicines from unlicensed online stores can be risky as the goods may be fake, expired, contaminated, unapproved and dangerous to patients and may put their health at risk.

Quality norms

There are over eight lakh pharmacies licensed to sell medicines. If the Centre is seriously considering permitting online pharmacies, it should ensure that the medicines sold thus are safe and effective, and conform to quality standards specified in the Act, the petition said.

The petitioner claimed that online sellers of medicines do not have the licence to sell, stock or distribute medicines. There is also no display of licence for verification, it added. To sell the medicines (online/offline) it is necessary to have a drugs selling licence as per the Provision of Drugs & Cosmetic Act, 1940.

Counterfeit medicines

“Online pharmacies are often running by sophisticated criminal networks distributing illicit drugs, including counterfeit medicines and controlled substances,” the petitioner claimed.

Published on October 31, 2018

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor