The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has recently announced that it will ban companies selling medicines online if they are found to be violating rules.
The DCGI has also directed all state governments and Union territories reportedly to take action against e-pharmacies if they are found to be in breach of regulations.
The sale and distribution of drugs in the country is regulated under the Drugs & Cosmetics Act, 1940, and the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945. As per the rules, drugs can’t be sold except with the prescription of a registered medical practitioner.
The government formed a seven-member panel to look into the issue of online drug sales on December 8, 2015.
The players in the online pharmacy business are PharmaEasy, Merapharmacy, Medicare, Medsnoprescriptiononline, 3G Chemist, Netmeds, Online Doctor, Toppills, Medplussmart, Pharmstore, among others.
Last year, the DCGI had appointed industry body Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) to frame guidelines for the online sale of medicines through e-commerce channels.