How can online pharmacies sell Medicines at Discount? Chemists ask drugs controller
Bengaluru: Discounts advertisement in media by online drug portals has raised concern among Karnataka state’s chemists with the latter raising questions about the same before the health ministry and the drugs controller. The chemists have gotten together and pointed out that offering of discounts by such organizations is a violation the Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940 and Rules 1945
TOI reports that according to the rules, discount on drug sales is not permissible. Raising the said issue, the chemists have even written to the government under the banner of Suvarna Karnataka Chemists and Distributors Association asking, “Is it permissible to advertise a pharma brand or offer discounts on medicines? Does the Drugs and Cosmetic Act allow promotion of drug brands?” The chemists are also planning to file a PIL in this regard
The chemists have questioned whether the Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940 and Rules 1945 permit advertisements offering discounts in sale of medicines through websites.
It is reported that in June, a similar memorandum had been submitted by the members of Bruhat Bengaluru Chemists and Druggists Association during its meeting with health minister.
Speaking with TOI, M K Mayanna, President of the Bruhat Bengaluru Chemists and Druggists Association said, “Through ads and offering of huge discounts, certain online portals are inducing the public into buying medicines from them. Can drugs be sold like clothes? This is nothing but an unethical trade practice.”
V Hari Krishnan, president, Suvarna Karnataka Chemists and Distributors Association told TOI,, “Ads appearing in media on the discounts offered on drugs are a clear violation of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act. They also carry taglines like ‘genuine medicine’ and ‘quality assured’. Does that mean that the rest of the medicines are not genuine and lack quality? The drugs controller’s office should crack down on these ads and remove such boards. We have not received any response to our letters yet.”
Unfortunately, adding to the confusion of the state chemists is the fact that state does not have any acting drug controller since 4 months after the demotion of the BT Khanapure, who was the drugs controller of Karnataka