New Delhi : A sub-committee tasked to evaluate the feasibility of online sale of drugs has recommended setting up of a national portal for registration of e-pharmacies to ensure that only registered sellers sell it on e-prescription generated by registered medical practitioners.
Its recommendations have come in the context of the current guidelines of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act and Rules, and have been submitted to the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO).
The recommendations of the committee, which was formed last year by Drug Controller General of India (DGCI), will now be forwarded to the Union Ministry of Health.
The sub-committee, under the chairmanship of Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Harshadeep Kamble, has suggested that medicines should be allowed to be sold online in phased manner after establishing sufficient checks and balances.
“In the absence of regulation and registration of e-pharmacies, people can be cheated by clandestine unauthourised operators which can lead to consumption of spurious drugs based on self medication.
“Also, there is abuse of medicines through e-pharmacies. People indulge in self-medication,end up taking wrong drugs and there antibiotics misuse. Thus, it can lead to commercial and health exploitation of public at large,” said an official of the DGCI.
At present, the online sale of prescriptions drugs (those falling under schedule H, H1, G and X) is illegal. However, for non-prescription drugs, those having the licences can sell them which are without prescription even on online.
On December 30, last year, the DCGI had instructed drug control officers of all states to take action against those indulging in online sale of drugs in the interest of public health.