New Delhi: The Central Consumer Protection Authority on Thursday directed e-commerce entities to sell specified ayurveda, siddha and unani drugs only after customers upload valid medical prescriptions from registered doctors on the platforms. The requirement will be applicable for drugs specified under Schedule E (1) of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945. Schedule E lists out poisonous substances under the ayurveda (including siddha) and unani systems of medicine. Such drugs are required to be taken under medical supervision.
“Consuming such drugs without medical supervision can lead to severe health complications. E-commerce platforms have been advised that the sale or facilitating the sale of such drugs shall be done only after a valid prescription of a registered Ayurveda, Siddha or Unani practitioner respectively is uploaded by the user on the platform,” the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) said in a statement.
Besides, the word ‘caution’ is to be printed in both English and Hindi languages on the label of the container of such medicines specified in Schedule E (1).
In February 2016, the Ministry of Ayush issued a public notice informing stakeholders that such drugs are required to be taken under medical supervision and purchasing the same online should be avoided without medical consultation.
Under Section 18 of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, CCPA said it is empowered to protect, promote and enforce the rights of consumers as a class, and prevent violation of consumers’ rights.
The regulator is empowered to prevent unfair trade practices and ensure that no person engages himself in unfair trade practices.
CCPA said it is consistently monitoring the issues affecting consumer welfare.
Recently, the watchdog issued guidelines to prevent unfair trade practices and protect consumer interests with respect to levy of service charges in hotels and restaurants.
It has also issued guidelines for the prevention of misleading advertisements and endorsements.
To safeguard consumer rights while shopping online, CCPA has issued an advisory to all marketplace e-commerce entities to ensure that details of sellers as mandated under sub-rule (5) of rule 6 of the Consumer Protection (E-commerce) Rules, 2020 are displayed on the platforms. Details such as name and contact number of the grievance officer concerned should be provided in a clear and accessible manner, and displayed prominently to users on the platform.
According to the statement, CCPA has also issued safety notices to alert and caution consumers against buying goods which do not have a valid ISI mark and violate compulsory BIS standards.
While the first safety notice was issued with regard to helmets, pressure cookers and cooking gas cylinders, the second safety notice was issued with respect to household goods, including electric immersion water heaters, sewing machines and microwave ovens.