Significance Of Regulation Of Online Sale Of Medicines.
Post on 01,December 2017   1:00 AM
By - PolyEyes Staff
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Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940 lacks any guidelines for e- commerce players in the pharmaceutical industry. Since rise of e- commerce has somehow boosted the sale of online drug it needs to be efficiently regulated. Hence a sub- committee has been constituted by Drugs Consultative Committee to examine online drugs sale that has recently been submitted. Main issues that are involved with the sale of medicines are of their easy accessibility which has high potential of promoting antimicrobial resistance. Also online pharmacies cannot be quality assured each time, after all it’s the profit –making business.

What is Drugs Consultative Committee? It is a statutory body under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940 constituted by the Central government. It advises central, state governments on uniformity of this act throughout India. It constitutes representatives from both central and state government, It meets when required by the central government. It also has the power to regulate its own procedure.

Recommendations of the sub- committee include:


  • Evolve a mechanism to register e- pharmacies and create a National Portal as a nodal platform to transact and monitor online drug sale.
  • Retail drug sale licenses can also be registered on National Portal to carry online drug sale.
  • There also needs to be geographical restriction promoting the facility to be adequately reached out to distant places as well to manage regulated operation of e-pharmacies.
  • Certain drugs prone to misuse like Narcotics and Psychotropic drugs, etc. should be excluded from online sale to counter drug abuse.
  • Offline and Online drugs sale will continue to be regulated with Drugs and Cosmetics rules 1945.
  • Limitations of online pharmacy include unregulated selling of prescription drugs online and promotes self-medication. The online mode allows online sellers to evade tax easily to escape the taxes equivalent to retail pharmacies.


Concluding Remark:Nevertheless online business in medicines has gained momentum, ‘Scheduled’ drugs should be sold only by licensed pharmacies against a doctor’s prescription. Government has been promoting accessible and affordable generic medicine to prevent self-medication through online mode. It should also frame guidelines regarding the online sale of medicines. An independent health regulator can be formulated that coordinates the online sales having exact amount of financial and authoritative power. 

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