The Delhi High Court has directed the Central government and Delhi government to restrain e-pharmacies from selling medicines online.
The order was issued by a bench comprising Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice VK Rao, on a petition filed by Delhi-based dermatologist Zaheer Ahmed.
Mr. Ahmed has submitted that easy availability of drugs online, without any checks on such e-pharmacies, puts the health and life of people at great risk, and affects their right to a safe and healthy life under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.
The petition, filed through Advocates Nakul Mohta and Misha Rohatgi Mohta, contends that the ongoing “illegal” sale of medicines on the internet could lead to drug abuse and mis-utilisation of habit forming and addictive drugs.
Among other things, the petition highlights the following risks that may be posed by such unregulated availability of drugs on the internet:
The petition, in fact, claims that online pharmacies are selling prescription medicines in large numbers without a valid prescription.
It then relies on a report submitted in 2016 by a sub-committee constituted by the Drugs Consultative Committee under the Drug Controller General of India to emphasise on the importance of regulation of such pharmacies.
With such assertions, the petition demands a ban on online sale of drugs and seeks action against entities that continue to do so.
"Taking note of the seriousness of the issue and public cause, this Court grants interim injunction against the online sale of medicines without licence and directs the first respondent or the competent authority to stall such online sales forthwith", ordered Justice R Mahadevan of Madras High Court on November 1.