AIOCD asks Swiggy not to venture into e-pharmacy

The dispensation has to take place from a licensed premise for which the license has been issued by the competent authority.

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Last Updated on January 29, 2021 by The Health Master

The All India Organisation of Chemists & Druggists (AIOCD) has urged the Swiggy not to venture into medicine delivery space i.e. online pharmacies (E pharmacy) as it will only bring legal implications and disrepute to the ‘Swiggy’ brand.

In a letter to Sriharsha Majety, CEO and Vivek Sunder, COO, AIOCD stated, “Therefore, the sale of prescription drugs and medicines through online medium is illegal.

The dispensation has to take place from a licensed premise for which the license has been issued by the competent authority.

For G.S.R. 817(E) dt 28-08-2018 -Draft notification – Sale of Drugs by E-Pharmacy / Online Pharmacy, Click here

The legal regime does not permit home delivery of medicines, though recently owing to situation of C-19 pandemic and an emergency like situation, the government had allowed the home delivery of medicines but it was meant for only neighborhood pharmacies.”

The AIOCD’s demand comes in wake on reports that Swiggy is planning to enter ‘Home Delivery’ of medicine starting with National Capital Territory Region.

“The sale and dispensation of medicines in India is covered under the Drugs & Cosmetics Act 1940 and Rules 1945.

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The above said act regulates the import, manufacture and distribution of drugs whereas the rules contain classification of drugs and guidelines for storage, display, sale and prescription of each schedule,” stated AIOCD general secretary Rajiv Singhal.

The organisation stated that the mainstay of the rules under this Act is on prescription and procedure of dispensation. A prescription, in original, is required for every “prescription drug” being sold.

The rules also specify that the prescription for certain drugs needs to be endorsed while sale.

e-pharmacy operations are not allowed under the Drug & Cosmetics Act & Rules and it has also been ‘Injuncted’ by the High Court of Delhi.

AIOCD president J S Shinde added, “The notification stated that Home Delivery’ cannot be undertaken by ‘Swiggy’ under the laws of our country, as you do not have the above licenses nor the mechanism to check the Schedule and category of medication.

Delivery of medicines is not like any other food or FMCG product delivery which can be taken by anyone under any circumstances. There are proper guidelines and rules that have to be followed to undertake such deliveries.”

The association stated that it has worked extensively to bring the irregularities in the e-pharmacies and the home delivery of medicines and how they are against the Drug & Cosmetics Act & Rules.

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“We understand that Swiggy is not per say an e-pharmacy at the moment and will only be delivering medicines to the patients through the neighborhood shops,” the association added.

The associated stated that the notification is only valid for a licensee who is holding a license in Form 20 or Form 21 issued under the Drug & Cosmetics Act  Rules and ‘Swiggy’ does not hold such a license.

Singhal added, “The prescription for the medicines to be delivered has to be received by hand or on individual email of the license holder.

This makes receiving orders on internet or app illegal. Moreover, the email has to be registered with the state drug authority for it to make a legitimate transaction.

There is a further condition of dispensation of medicines depending upon the category of disease. Schedule H drugs can only be sold via door delivery route.”

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