The Gujarat High Court issued notices to central and state officials, three companies, five doctors, and the National Medical Commission about the petition soliciting a ban on the online sale of medicines. Justice AS sought responses from many organisations after diving into the petition filed by Amit Agencies. They included Drugs Standard Control Organisation, Food and Drugs Control Administration, Tata 1MG Healthcare Solutions Pvt Ltd, Reliance Retail Ltd and Axelia Solutions Pvt Ltd. He also sought the opinion of Medical Commission Doctors.
According to the court, prima facie, the allegations made in the petition seem to be true. The observation said that if the ongoing online sale of scheduled drugs persists, it will have a direct and adverse effect on the health and well-being of the country.
Further, the court will hear the issue on July 29.
Advocate Vijay Patel has submitted the petition on behalf of the seeker. He said in a statement that the online sale of medicines and scheduled drugs is not permissible under the Drugs and Cosmetic Act, 1990. The violation of the same has severe impacts on public health.
In this context, the Drugs Controller General of India prohibited online medicine sales through e-pharmacies. They issued the circular on December 30, 2015. They also requested all the drug controllers put a watch on the online sale.
The petitioner alleged that the e-pharmacy services misuse the process by arranging conversations between consumers and employed medical professionals. Further, he said that following a brief discussion, they forge the prescriptions. Moreover, the doctors do not check the medical reports of purported patients.
He mentioned that the law does not give these prescriptions sanctity. Further, he requested the court to order the NMC to take action against doctors to do so. He also questioned the genuineness of medical licenses for selling or prescribing drugs.
The petitioner argued, “It is shocking that online pharmacies sell certain scheduled drugs without any prescription. Anyone below 18 years can buy it.” In conclusion, the petition questioned the online sale of Schedule H, H1, and X drugs. It also contended that its sale is allowed under the Drugs Rules and the Indian Medical Act, 1956 only on the prescription of a registered medical practitioner.