E-commerce websites dealing with online pharmacies, online gamming and gambling, online selling of adult merchandise, etc are openly and continuously violating the laws of India, including the cyber law of India. However, India government has yet to take action against these offending e-commerce websites of India. E-commerce websites in India must be regulated by Indian government and regulatory authorities as soon as possible.
Online sales of prescribed medicines in India are by and large unregulated and open for abuses. In fact, illegal and unregulated online sales of prescribed medicines in India are flourishing like a plague. In fact, the fast growing and uncontrollable number of online pharmacies, mostly based abroad, has posed a serious challenge to State drug control authorities. They are simply not in a position to regulate the affairs of these online pharmacies that are openly violating the laws of India.
Now concerned over the risks involved in purchasing medicines, especially Schedule H drugs, from online pharmacies, authorities are working on ways to curb online pharmacies of India. While buying drugs without prescriptions is in itself a dangerous trend, online pharmacies present a greater risk, say doctors and pharmacists.
The Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, and the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945, have clear guidelines on the sale of Schedule H and Schedule X drugs. These can be sold only on prescription and there are specific rules, including for labelling. Even bar-coding of primary level packaging of export consignment of pharmaceuticals and drugs have been prescribed by India.
A former director of the Directorate of Drugs Control opines that the online pharmacies are illegal. Schedule X drugs include narcotics and psychotropic substances and these too are available online. The medications are couriered to the destination and this is a dangerous trend.
While some websites mention that prescriptions for the drugs order can be sent via email or fax, fake prescriptions too could be presented as proof, and this is in no way a means to monitor sale of prescription drugs. Online pharmacies should be curbed immediately, the former director says.
We at Perry4Law Organisation and Perry4Law Law Firm have been warning about these issues for more than a year. It seems now others have also joined us in this fight against growing menace of illegal online pharmacies in India.
It is not the case that regulatory authorities of India are not aware of this dangerous trend. In fact, an official at the Directorate of Drugs Control has said that they have taken some steps and are working to curb online pharmacies. They are holding deliberations with the drugs consultative committee and very soon the illegal online pharmacies operating in India may be civilly and criminally prosecuted in India.
Source: PTLB Blog.