MHC bans sale of medicines online

In her order, the judge said that the Centre should notify the proposed Drugs and Cosmetics Amendment Rules, 2018 in the Gazette at the earliest, however, not later than 31.01.2019.

Madras High Court on Monday banned the online sale of medicines till the Union government notifies rules regulating such sales.

The court also directed the Centre to notify rules regulating online sale of medicines by January 31, 2019.

Justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana passed the order on a petition filed by the Tamil Nadu Chemists and Drugs Association (TNCDA) seeking ban on online sale of drugs and medicines, contending that they are being done in violation of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and its 1945 rules.

In her order, the judge said that the Centre should notify the proposed Drugs and Cosmetics Amendment Rules, 2018 in the Gazette at the earliest, however, not later than 31.01.2019.

“Thereafter, the concerned stakeholders, namely, persons doing trade in online pharmacy have to obtain their licences in the manner prescribed in the rules to be notified, within a period of two months from the date of such notification… Till the aforesaid rules are notified, the online traders are bound not to proceed with their online business in drugs and cosmetics,” she said in the order.

The matter was posted before Justice Sathyanarayana following a roster change and Justice R Mahadevan had in October ordered an interim injunction on the unlicensed sale of online medicines.

The association, in its petition, had said though several amendments had been made to the Drugs and Cosmetics Act over the last 78 years, so far no provision had been introduced in it permitting online sale of drugs and medicines.

“As per the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules of 1945, it is not permitted to ship, mail or provide door delivery of the prescribed medicines... Yet, drugs of scheduled and non scheduled category are available online on different websites and distributed across the country. As on date, there are more than 3,500 such websites,” it claimed.

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MHC bans sale of medicines online

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