Regulation of E-Pharmacies: Stakeholder meeting with DCGI

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Medicine Laptop computer Online
Picture: Pixabay

Last Updated on August 31, 2023 by The Health Master

Regulation of E-Pharmacies

On August 24, 2023, an essential consultation took place, organized by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI), on the regulation of E-Pharmacies.

In response to a decision made by the Delhi High Court, a significant issue involving the online sale of medications was the subject of the consultation.

The court granted the government time to either establish rules or take actions concerning the operation of E-Pharmacies.

Presiding over the meeting was DCGI Dr. Rajeev Raghuvanshi, who brought together a diverse group of stakeholders to discuss and deliberate on this critical issue of regulation of E-Pharmacies.

Stakeholder Representation

The meeting featured active participation from various stakeholders, representing different facets of the pharmaceutical industry and healthcare sector:

AIOCD Association Delegation

  • J S Shinde
  • Rajiv Singhal
  • K K Selvan
  • Sandeep Nangia
  • Vaijanath Jagushte

Pharmacy Council of India Representatives

  • Dr. Montu M Patel, President
  • Vijay Patil

SCDA Delhi Attendees

  • Yash Agarwal
  • Vipin Chaudhary
  • Rampat
  • Vijay Saini
  • Raman
  • Zaheer Ahmad

E-Pharmacy Company Representatives

Key players, among others:

  • Tata 1 mg,
  • PharmEasy,
  • Netmed,
  • Flipkart,
  • Practo.
Laptop computer Online medicine
Picture: Pixabay

AIOCD Association’s Perspective

Under the leadership of Mr. J S Shinde, the AIOCD Association took a proactive stance during the meeting, voicing their concerns and presenting a memorandum.

The memorandum, apart from being shared with all states for record and reference, highlighted several significant points:

Lack of Legal Provisions

The Central Government itself had affirmed in various courts that existing Drug Acts did not include provisions for granting licenses to E-Pharmacies.

Pending Draft Rules

The Draft Rules Gazette Notification, published to solicit objections and suggestions in 2018, was still unresolved. This caused ambiguity regarding the legality of E-Pharmacy operations.

Data Security and Regulations

The Central Government’s efforts to safeguard public health data through strict regulations were inconsistent with provisions related to health data collection by E-Pharmacies.

Pharmacy Council of India’s Perspective

Dr. Montu M Patel, President of the Pharmacy Council of India, articulated concerns over the suitability of E-Pharmacies in the Indian context.

He referred to existing pharmacy regulations and raised questions about their compatibility with the E-Pharmacy model.

Healthcare Professional’s Input

Dr. Zaheer Ahamed, a respected medical practitioner and a complainant against E-Pharmacies, shared instances of the misapplication of online drug purchases.

His insights underscored the potential risks associated with unregulated online medicine sales.

E-Pharmacy Industry’s Viewpoint

Representatives from various E-Pharmacy companies presented their perspectives, contributing to a comprehensive discussion on the matter.

Legal Standpoint

Mr. Pradhan, the legal head, supported the concerns raised by stakeholders, particularly emphasizing the inconsistency of E-Pharmacy practices with the Drugs and Cosmetics Act and Rules.

He highlighted that the “offer to sale” by E-Pharmacy websites didn’t align with the regulatory framework.

Positive Outlook and Conclusion

The consultation meeting concluded on an optimistic note, with the AIOCD Association hopeful that the DCGI would take into account the points raised during the discussion.

The meeting served as a platform for diverse stakeholders to voice their opinions, share concerns, and foster collaboration in addressing the complex challenges posed by E-Pharmacies.

Input by J S Shinde, President and Rajiv Singhal, General Secretary, The All India Organization of Chemists and Druggists

Disclaimer: This article contains information derived from the source mentioned below. Our team utilized an AI language model to rewrite and present the news or article in a unique format.

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