Indian eCommerce players have yet again stepped themselves into trouble and this time its Maharashtra Government that have bugled the siren. Country’s top three online marketplaces Amazon India, Flipkart and Snapdeal are alleged to sell medicines online without having any valid license for the same. Maharashtra Government has asked Lok Sabha to take strict action against the issue.
In reply to the plea, Health Minister J P Nadda wrote that the Food and Drug Administration, Maharashtra has taken regulatory action against Snapdeal, Amazon and Flipkart which were found to be selling or distributing medicines to consumers through internet without valid sales bill and requisite licenses.
As per Drugs and Cosmetic Act1940, the sale of any sort of drugs by online or offline merchants in the country is regulated by the state licensing authorities and these online marketplaces failed short to adhere the Government norms. Also a store cannot sell certain drugs like H, H1 or Schedule X without the prescription of a registered medical practitioner.
Adding to the letter, Nadda wrote that the supply of prescription drugs can be affected only by or under the personal supervision of a registered pharmacist from licensed premises.
Last year too, Maharashtra's FDA had conducted raids at the corporate office of e-commerce giant Snapdeal for selling prescription drugs online.
Nadda said that there is no proposal of the government to amend the Drug and Cosmetic Act to enable easy facilitation of business in the drug e-commerce sector.
No such proposal is presently under consideration of the government and online sale of drugs can be permitted only after appropriate mechanism is established to address the risks and concerns related to such sales.