The All India Organization of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD) on Friday sent a letter to the Cabinet secretary, urging him to intervene and ban online pharmacies on the grounds that they are violating norms and putting people’s lives at risk.
The letter cited the Delhi High Court order of 2018, which injuncted e-pharmacies from online sale of medicines without a licence and directed that such sales were prohibited forthwith until further orders. However, “They continue to operate despite court orders,” the letter said, adding “The illegally operating E-pharmacies are still in operation after more than 4.5 years.”
The chemists’s body has alleged that no further action has been taken, despite notices being served on various online pharmacies by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) in February.
The chemists’ body also brought an affidavit filed by the joint drug controller in 2020 which stated that “there is currently no provision under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945 for online pharmacies. The issue of online sale of drugs was under the consideration of the government,” it said.
According to AIOCD, the submission by the “CDSCO clearly indicated that there is no license for the online sale of drugs. Therefore, in accordance with the orders of the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi, online sales of medicines should be immediately ceased,” it further said. However, a recent status report on E-pharmacies submitted by the CDSCO on the orders of the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi reveals that there are no provisions in the Drugs & Cosmetics Act, 1940, and Rules 1945, that restrict the shipping, mailing, or door delivery of prescribed medicines. “This submission contradicts the earlier affidavit filed in the High Court of Delhi and raises concerns about the well-being of our citizens,” it said.