CHENNAI: A PIL petition has been filed in Madras High Court for a direction to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to ban online sale of scheduled medicines in violation of Drugs and Cosmetic Rules.
When the PIL from Salem-based businessman N Ruthynamoorthy came up on Tuesday, the first bench of Chief Justice SK Kaul and Justice MM Sundresh ordered issuance of notice to the Union Health Ministry and the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation, returnable in four weeks.
According to petitioner, the scheduled and non-scheduled drugs are now available by a click of the computer on different web sites. There are over 3000 online sites, which do not even bother to follow the Indian law while selling their products. Many of them are functioning from outside India and they are selling drugs prohibited in the country by violating Indian laws. The drugs coming under the schedule H/H1 & X, which are not allowed to be sold without prescription and allowed to be sold only under the personal supervision of a registered practitioner, are openly sold though online.
To regulate these type of sales, petitioner submitted that it was indispensible to have strict e-health laws and regulations for the websites.
Despite the communication sent by the Joint Drugs Controller to all the officials in the States and the Union Territories to put a vigil on online sale of medicines and take action against them, there is no proper action to control the menace.
Petitioner also sought to constitute a committee to recommend measures to ban all such websites.