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Friday, December 1, 2023

Delhi High Court Gives Center One Final Chance To Create Policy Regarding Online Drug Sales

<p>The Delhi High Court gave the Center eight weeks on Thursday to finalize its policy on the online selling of medications, stating that the government had to move quickly to resolve this long-standing problem.<img decoding=”async” class=”alignnone wp-image-280614″ src=”https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/theindiaprint.com-download-81-1.jpg” alt=”theindiaprint.com download 81 1″ width=”1246″ height=”698″ title=”Delhi High Court Gives Center One Final Chance To Create Policy Regarding Online Drug Sales 12″ srcset=”https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/theindiaprint.com-download-81-1.jpg 300w, https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/theindiaprint.com-download-81-1-150×84.jpg 150w” sizes=”(max-width: 1246px) 100vw, 1246px” /></p>
<p>The court ordered that the joint secretary handling the matter physically appear before the court on March 4, 2024, the next hearing date, if the policy is not developed within the allotted time frame.</p>
<p>This court believes that the Union of India has had enough time to formulate the policy since more than five years have passed. To ensure fairness, the Union of India is given one last chance to formulate the policy within a week.</p>
<p>Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Mini Pushkarna’s bench said, “If the policy is not framed within the stipulated time period, the joint secretary dealing with the subject shall be personally present on the next date.”</p>
<p>The Center was previously requested by the top court to provide a progress report on petitions seeking an outright ban on the “illegal” online selling of pharmaceuticals.</p>
<p>The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare released proposed regulations to further change the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, and the court was considering petitions asking for a prohibition on such sales as well as challenges to those draft regulations.</p>
<p>The petitioner body, South Chemists and Distributors Association, led by advocate Amit Gupta, challenged the August 2018 notification, claiming that the draft rules are being pushed through in “serious violation” of the law and that they ignore the health risks associated with the unregulated online sale of medicines.</p>
<p>Petitioner Zaheer Ahmed, via attorney Nakul Mohta, requested that the e-pharmacies be held in contempt for their continued online medication sales in defiance of a high court ruling prohibiting such behavior.</p>
<p>The petitioner died not long ago, Ahmed’s attorney told the court.</p>
<p>Senior attorney Sudhir Nandrajog, speaking for the petitioner organization during the hearing, said that the illicit drug trade on the internet persists even if the Center claims to be taking action.</p>
<p>The Center’s legal representative said that discussions and negotiations over a draft notice regarding the online selling of pharmaceuticals are still ongoing.</p>
<p>The petitioners made a good argument, according to the bench, and they requested that the Center move the process forward quickly since the matter has been hanging for a long time.</p>
<p>On December 12, 2018, the high court halted internet pharmacies’ unlicensed medicine sales while it heard Ahmed’s PIL.</p>
<p>Additionally, the central government was accused of being in contempt for failing to take action against the defaulting e-pharmacies, according to the petition.</p>
<p>A few e-pharmacies had previously informed the high court that they do not need a license to sell pharmaceuticals and prescription meds online since they are only delivering the medications, much like the food delivery service Swiggy.</p>
<p>The e-pharmacies informed the court that, similar to Swiggy’s ability to serve food without a restaurant’s license, they too do not need a license in order to supply medications to clients who buy pills online.</p>
<p>The statement was made in response to a petition that e-pharmacies be held in contempt for their continued online medication sales in defiance of a high court decision prohibiting such behavior.</p>
<p>The Central Drugs Standard Control Organization, the Delhi government, the Pharmacy Council of India, and the Center had already been asked to respond to the petition by the court.</p>
<p>The petitioner had claimed that drug abuse, habit-forming, and addictive drug misuse, and a “drug epidemic” would result from the “illegal” internet distribution of pharmaceuticals.</p>
<p>According to the Public Interest Litigation (PIL), the absence of a system to regulate the internet sale of medications jeopardizes people’s health and well-being and impairs their constitutional right to a safe and healthy life under Article 21.</p>
<p>“Under the current system, online pharmacies are not subject to regulation and are operating without a drug license. The plea said that the sale of unlicensed and unregulated medications would raise the possibility of fake, mislabeled, and subpar medications being distributed.</p>
<p>The Central Drugs Standard Control Organization, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and an expert panel chosen by the drug consultative committee allegedly came to the conclusion that the internet selling of medications violates the 1940 Drugs and Cosmetics Act and other related laws.</p>
<p>According to the report, there are still millions of pills being sold online every day. Some of these medications include narcotic and psychotropic compounds, and some of them may lead to germs resistant to antibiotics, which poses a risk to both the patient and the general public.</p>
<p>The general public is aware that e-commerce websites have been detected selling phony goods on several occasions. Drugs, in contrast to consumer goods, are very powerful chemicals, and taking the incorrect dosage or using a phony prescription may be deadly for the patient “, the statement said.</p>
<p>It also said that because a lot of kids use the Internet, they can end up taking the incorrect prescription.</p>

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