Delhi HC: Ban on online Medicine sales across the country

New Delhi: On Wednesday, the Delhi high court ordered a ban on the sale of online medicines by e-pharmacists across the country and directed the Centre government to implement the order immediately.

According to a report in TOI, a bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V K Rao passed the order while acting on a PIL filed by Delhi-based dermatologist Zaheer Ahmed.

He had complained that lakhs of medicines are selling on the internet without much regulation, posing a huge risk to patients and doctors alike.

He also pointed out that online sale of medicines is not permitted under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Pharmacy Act, 1948.

Mr Ahmed also mentioned that even though in 2015 it was clearly directed not to sell the medicines online by the Drug Controller General of India, lakhs of medicines continue to be sold online, often even without prescription.

PIL: Govt failed in health safety
Unable to supervise, the government has failed in its responsibility to protect public health which is its constitution obligation, the PIL says.

“Drugs are highly potent and its misuse or abuse can have serious consequence, not just for the person consuming it but for humanity at large as some drugs can be addictive and harmful to the body. A large number of minors or people from uneducated rural background use internet and can be victims of wrong medication while ordering medicines online,” the PIL argues, seeking the court’s intervention.

The plea says online pharmacies are operating without a drug license and warns that “unregulated sale of medicines online will increase the risk of spurious, misbranded and substandard drugs being sold”.