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The Government of India has halted online sales of drugs

The Government of India has halted online sales of drugs

Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) is yet to finalise the regulations for online drug sales or e-pharmacies.

Key Points:

  • India's drugs regulator has asked all the states to enforce a court directive prohibiting online medicine sales. 
  • India is yet to finalise the regulations for online drug sales or e-pharmacies, but the growth of several online sellers such as Netmeds, Medlife, Temasek-backed PharmEasy and Sequoia Capital-backed 1mg has threatened traditional drug-store businesses.
  • The Delhi High Court, last year in December, said the government must ensure online sales are prohibited for the time being. This was done when it heard a petition from a doctor who alleged unregulated online sales could lead to abuse of medicines.
  • Steep online discounts have also hit the offline businesses, which, according to industry estimates, recorded $18.4 billion in retail sales in 2018-19. Sales growth had averaged only 8.2 per cent a year since 2015-2016 when sales grew by 12.3 per cent.

About CDSCO:

The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) under Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India is the National Regulatory Authority (NRA) of India. Its headquarter is located at FDA Bhawan, Kotla Road and also has six zonal offices, four sub zonal offices, thirteen Port offices and seven laboratories spread across the country.

Under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, CDSCO is responsible for approval of Drugs, Conduct of Clinical Trials, laying down the standards for Drugs, control over the quality of imported drugs in the country and coordination of the activities of State Drug Control Organizations by providing expert advice with a view of bringing about uniformity in the enforcement of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act. 

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