The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has served show-cause notices on online pharmacies, asking them why action should not be taken against them for selling and distributing drugs without licence.
In the notices, issued on Wednesday, the regulator said the online platforms were doing the business in contravention of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940. They were told to file their response within two days.
It wasn’t clear whether the e-pharmacies have responded to the notices, a copy of which ET has seen.
The notices state that the sale, or stock or exhibit or offer for sale or distribution of drugs through online, internet or other electronic platforms without a licence has potential impact on the quality of drugs and pose risk to public health due to potential misuse of drugs through self-medication and indiscriminate use of drugs.
Several cases are pending in courts requesting prohibition of online sale of drugs.
The DCGI said that even after instructions from the apex regulator for compliance of an order of Delhi High Court, the e-pharmacies were found to be engaged in selling medicines online without licence.
The high court had passed an order by which the respondents were injuncted from online sale of medicines till further orders. Subsequently, the DCGI forwarded the Delhi HC order to drug controllers in all states and union territories in 2019 and earlier this month for necessary action and compliance.