Maharashtra gets tough against online drug sales

Press Trust of India Mumbai | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on March 14, 2016

The Maharashtra government today said it would recommend to the Centre that those indulging in sale of medicines online without prescriptions be prosecuted under the Information Technology (IT) Act.

The government has also not given any permission for online sale of pharmacy, Maharashtra Food and Civil Supplies Minister Girish Bapat told the Legislative Council.

Regarding the tie-up between the state police and an online pharmacy aggregator, Bapat said the government will check if there are any rules violated by the department.

PharmEasy issue

Last week, Maharashtra Police partnered with online pharmacy aggregator – PharmEasy – under which serving and retired officials and their family members would get medicines and diagnostic tests at concessional rates.

While speaking during a Calling Attention Motion on online sale of medicines, Congress MLC Satej Patil said illegal sale of medicines online without a valid prescription should be treated as a ‘cyber crime’ and action should be taken under the provisions of the IT Act.

Replying to Patil, Bapat said, “This is a good suggestion. Since laws regarding the sale of medicines are framed and regulated by the Centre, we will recommend that such companies may be prosecuted under the IT Act.”

He said the government will do whatever it takes to stop illegal sale of medicines online.

Drug controller

Congress MLC Sharad Ranpise said that the Bombay High Court has disallowed online sale of medicines without a valid prescription and that the Drug Controller of India has called for strict action against those indulging in it.

“In that case, is it true that the state government has allowed police department to go ahead with online sale of medicines by PharmEasy,” he questioned.

In his reply to Ranpise, Bapat said, “the Government has given no such permission to sell medicines online. We will check and if there are any violations found, Additional Director General of Police VV Lakshmi Narayan’s circular to his department will be cancelled.”

Published on March 14, 2016
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