The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has issued a showcause notice to online pharmacies, seeking an explanation on why action should not be taken against them for selling and distributing drugs in contravention of provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940.
The notice was issued to online pharmacies including -- Tata 1mg, Amazon, and Flipkart on Friday.
"The office has received various representations from time to time raising concerns regarding the sale of drugs through online, the internet or other electronic platforms, including various mobile applications, in contravention to the provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 & Rules there under," the DCGI notice to the e-pharmacies read.
"Such sale includes drugs specified in Schedule H, HI and X which are only allowed to be sold under a valid prescription of a registered medical practitioner and supplied under the supervision of a registered pharmacist," the notice read.
"In this regard, it may be mentioned that import, manufacture for sale or for distribution, or sale, or stock or exhibit or offer for sale or distribution of any drug are regulated under the provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 & Drugs Rules 1945 made there," it stated.
The DCGI in the notice further said that for sale, or stock or exhibit or offer for sale or distribution of any drug, a license is required to be obtained from the concerned state licensing authority and conditions of license are required to be complied by the licensee. "There are cases in various courts in this regard requesting to prohibit the online sale of drugs," it said.
"In view of the above, you are hereby asked to show cause within 2 days from the date of issue of this notice, why action shall not be taken against you for sale, or stock or exhibit or offer for sale or distribution of drugs in contravention of the provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Rules made there under. In case no reply is received, it will be presumed that you have nothing to say in this matter and necessary action shall be initiated against you without any further notice."
(With inputs from IANS)