Online Sale Of Medicines Banned Across India – A Big Blow To Ecommerce In India?

As per Delhi HC, sale of online medicines is harmful for all Indians.

Online sale of medicines banned in India
Online sale of medicines banned in India

In a big blow to e-commerce in India, Delhi High Court has banned the sale of online medicines across India.

Why this extreme decision was taken? What will happen now to the sale of online medicines?

Keep reading to find out more.

Delhi High Court: Immediate Ban On Online Sales Of Medicines

A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V K Rao gave their order on the ban of selling any type of medicines online.

The Bench has directed Centre and AAP Govt in Delhi to immediately implement the order, and stop ecommerce portals from selling online medicines.

This order will directly impact leading online portals for selling medicines such as Practo, 1MG, Netmeds, WeChemist and others.

The PIL Which Led To Online Medicine Ban

The bench of Delhi High Court announced this verdict after a PIL was filed by Delhi-based dermatologist Zaheer Ahmed, which was represented by advocate Nakul Mohta.

As per the PIL, these were the arguments which Delhi HC accepted, and placed a ban on online medicines:

  • Online sale of medicines is not allowed under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Pharmacy Act, 1948
  • Online sale of medicines is unregulated, and harmful for all Indians
  • Drug Controller General of India in 2015 had ordered all State Drug Controllers to regulate online sales. But Govt. was not able to control it, and this can cause widespread harm to society.
  • Govt. has failed to implement Article 21, which states that it is Govt.’s responsibility to protect the health of all citizens
  • Uneducated users of the Internet from rural areas are ordering harmful medicines, which can be abused by addicts.
  • The PIL Stated: “Some drugs have psychotropic substances and can be easily ordered on the internet and misused for criminal activities or drug abuse.”

Online Sale Of Medicines In India: Controversies, Protests and More

The issue of online sales of medicines had been controversial since some time, but no one expected this extreme order by Delhi HC.

Entire pharma industry of India had declared an all-out war against e-commerce in 2015, as the protests picked up steam after that. In 2016, Drug Controller General of India had stopped all e-commerce portals from selling medicines online, but this didn’t make any change in the online business. In 2015, Snapdeal’s warehouses were raided by Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for selling drugs/medicines without a prescription.

Govt. had attempted to regulate the sale of online medicines by ordering that online portal will be allowed to sell online registered drugs, that too with a prescription.

In September, offline medicine sellers and chemists had announced a nation-wide strike wherein more than 8.5 lakh shop owners had shut down their business to protest against online sales.

Now, all eyes set on IAMAI, and online medicine portals, to take the next step.

We will keep you updated.

1 Comment
  1. NetGuy says

    So if “uneducated users of the Internet from rural areas are ordering harmful medicines”, then online sales must be banned?? I’ve never HEARD of anything so fucking ridiculous in my life!! Why don’t they ban the uneducated USERS??? We must FIGHT against this ban, ALL of us! Trak, could you please give us an email address of who to complain to?? Thanks.

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