Delhi HC Bans Online Medical Sales In India

Published on 14 Dec 2018 by Shivi

The Delhi High Court has ordered a ban on the sale of online medicines by e-pharmacists across the country and directed the Centre and the Delhi Government to immediately implement the order.

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 who complained that lakhs of medicines were being sold on the internet every day without much regulation, posing a huge risk to patients and doctors alike.

Ahmed pointed out that online sale of medicines is not permitted under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Pharmacy Act, 1948. The petitioner highlighted that even though the Drug Controller General of India in 2015 clearly directed all State Drug Controllers to protect the interest of public health by restraining such sale online, lakhs of medicines continue to be sold online, often even without prescription.

Unable to supervise, the government has failed in its responsibility to protect public health which is its constitutional obligation under Article 21, the PIL said.

“Unlike common items, drugs are highly potent and its misuse or abuse can have serious consequences on human health, not just for the person consuming it but for humanity at large as some drugs can be addictive, habit-forming and harmful to the body. A large number of children/ minors or people from uneducated rural background use the internet and can be victims of wrong medication while ordering medicines online,” the PIL argued, seeking the court’s intervention.

Blaming the government for not doing enough, the plea said online pharmacies are operating without a drug licence and warns that “unregulated sale of medicines online will increase the risk of spurious, misbranded and substandard drugs being sold” adding that “Some drugs have psychotropic substances and can be easily ordered on internet and misused for criminal activities or drug abuse.


Tags: Health and Beauty  Narcotic Drugs 

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