Madras High Court bans online sale of medicines temporarily


CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Wednesday granted an interim injunction restraining the online sale of medicines.


Justice R Mahadevan passed the interim order on a writ petition filed by the Tamil Nadu chemist and Druggist Association. The court has directed the Centre to file its counterpoint and scheduled the next hearing on November 9.

The druggists association argued that e-tailors dealing and selling medicine through online without any proper licences and the association urged the court to block links of websites that are selling medicines online.

The Chennai-based association believes that through online shopping might be convenient for consumers, but the medicines purchasing from unlicensed online stores can be risky. There is a chance for selling fake, expired, unapproved drugs.

Senior advocate ARL Sundaresan, who had appeared on the behalf of the druggist's organisation said,

“The online sale of drugs listed in Schedule H, H1 and X of the 1940 Act was growing in the country though there was a specific legal ban on selling such medicine without the prescription of the medical practitioner, even though the medicines are being sold online by more than 3,500 sites all over the country”.

“It is very risky and should not be allowed. It may affect the health of innocent people. They may be purchase medicine through online for a cheap price without any doctor’s prescription. The court will study the issue in detail”, said Justice R Mahadevan

The laws for pharmacies in India are derived from the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, Drugs and Cosmetics Rule, 1945 and Pharmacy Act, 1948. As per the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules of 1945, it is not permitted to ship, mail or provide door delivery of the prescribed medicines.

 Image credit: The Hindu Business Line

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