Online Sales Of Medicine Prohibited Under Current Law Says Government

New Delhi
Online Sales Of Medicine Prohibited Under Current Law Says Government
P. Anil Kumar/Outlook
Online Sales Of Medicine Prohibited Under Current Law Says Government

The government today said online sale of medicines is permitted under the present law and the Health Ministry will come out with a clarification which will put to rest issues between chemists and e-pharmacies.

Secretary in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) Ramesh Abhishek said there are about 50 e- pharmacies in the country and the Drugs and Cosmetics Act does not say that medicines cannot be sold online.

"...But a clarity is required on this. So what the Ministry of Health is doing is (that they are) working on issuing some clarifications which will clarify that this is allowed under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act," he told reporters here.

He was briefing the media with Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman after meeting start-ups and incubators.

Brick-and-mortar chemists had raised objections against e-pharmacies, saying online sale of medicines is not allowed under the act. In some sates, police have claimed that such businesses are flouting laws.

Asked about the proposal of asking pension and insurance funds to finance start-ups, Abhishek said the DIPP already has had preliminary discussions with regulators and will take up the discussions further.

"We are going to take up formally with them. This will need tweaking of their regulations...That is a desirable objective and that is why we are pursuing that. We will continue our discussions," he said.

Replying to a question about setting up of a Rs 2,000 crore credit guarantee fund for budding entrepreneurs, the secretary said the DIPP is working on this programme and would soon approach the Cabinet for its approval.

Currently, the DIPP is in the process of getting the approval of the Expenditure Finance Committee.

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