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The Maharashtra Food & Drugs Administration (FDA) raided the offices of online retailer Snapdeal in Goregaon, north-west Mumbai, after receiving information that it was selling prescription drugs online.

The retailer was selling drugs such as Ascoril cough syrup, Vigora tablets, and other medicines were put up for sale online, said FDA Commissioner Harshadeep Kamble, according to a report by IANS.  

Snapdeal has been asked to disclose details of people, stores, and companies, connected to online sale of drugs, including agreements, challans, invoices and payment details. 

The FDA initiated action against Snapdeal under Section 18(C) of the Drugs & Cosmetics Act, 1940, read with Rule 65. The provision states that only a licensed retailer can sell drugs, based on a doctor's prescription.

"Such type of online sale of drugs is not allowed as per the Act. Such kind of self-medication may be harmful to the patients. Snapdeal.com like agencies cannot act like doctor or pharmacist," Kamble said.

The authority has also ordered a search of Snapdeal's godowns to further investigate into the matter. 

Snapdeal denied the charges, saying that the FDA team did not find 'restricted' products at its fulfilment centre (godowns).

"Though we periodically educate sellers on engaging in fair and safe sales on the platform and consequences of selling inappropriate products, at times sellers end up listing such products. Upon being notified of any such products, we delist the products and take appropriate action against such seller. In this case, upon receiving the notice, we have delisted the products and provided all information to the FDA team," an official spokesperson of Snapdeal said. 

The FDA is reported to have asked for details from other e-tailers such as Flipkart and Amazon, to find out whether they are also selling prescribed drugs online.

"Through such vigilant actions, the FDA is trying to control the menace of Internet-based sale of drugs which could be harmful to the patients," Kamble said.