With curbs on e – pharmacies, drug traders see red

New Delhi: The existing system of buying medicines online by uploading the prescription written by the doctor may be put to a halt.

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is preparing to make strict rules regarding e-pharmacy. If sources are to be believed, a new mechanism can be set up to minimize the sale of medicines on e-pharmacy.

Sources in the Union Health Ministry said that there will be a change in the existing rules regarding e-pharmacy soon. At present, companies can sell category ‘H’ drugs with prescription and other drugs online without a prescription by registering with the drug regulator.

However, there is a ban on the online sale of medicines that contain drug components.

Also, companies have to follow the rules of the IT Act and there is a ban on advertising. But companies violate these rules. Last month, notices were issued by the Drug Controller to 20 reputed online pharmacies.

Sources in the ministry said that 12 lakh chemists are opposing the online sale of medicines.

The group of ministers formed earlier also disagreed on the online sale of medicines. Sources said that the argument of online pharmaceutical companies that e-pharmacy is approved in foreign countries is baseless. This is not the case in any country, but there is ‘e-prescription’, in which there is such a system that the doctor’s consultation goes directly to the pharmacy and the patient can collect his medicine there. According to sources, instead of completely banning e-pharmacy, some similar mechanism may be developed, in which e-pharmacy and doctors can come on the same platform.

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