An Indian court has banned the sale of online medicines because of safety concerns


  • E-pharmacies in India have been prohibited from selling any medicines online, said Times of India citing a recent order by Delhi Court.
  • The Delhi High Court has ordered the center and the state government to execute the ban immediately.
  • The ordered was issued in response to a public interest litigation that stated that the government has failed in regulating the sale of such medicine exposing consumers to the higher risk of ill-health.
The Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the Central and the Delhi governments to impose a ban on the online sale of medicine by e-pharmacies across India, the Times of India reported.

The order was issued in response to a public interest litigation filed by Zaheer Ahmed who said that e-pharmacies in India sell a large volume of medicines daily without a prescription, which in turn, exposes consumers to higher health risks.

In India, the digital sale of medicines is not regulated leading e-pharmacies to sell ‘misbranded and substandard’ products which are not sold otherwise, said the report.

India also prohibits the online sale of medicine under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Pharmacy Act, 1948, PIL pointed out.

While the Drug Controller General of India had already issued an order in 2015 to all states to prevent the sale of any medicine online without a prescription, the e-pharmacies continue to sell thousands of medicines daily, said the report citing the PIL.

The Union Health Ministry had also reportedly drafted a set of rules on the sale of drugs by e-pharmacies, but these rules were apparently not implemented.

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