The High Court has asked the Maharashtra government to take steps to regulate the sale of medicines through websites, until a proper law is enforced.
As of now, the government has constituted a special committee, with terms of reference for sale of medicines through online websites. The committee has called for suggestions from the public, after which it will issue recommendations to carry out the necessary amendments in the Drugs and Cosmetics Act. The suggestions was accepted till October 30.
‘The Maharashtra government has constituted a special committee, with terms of reference for sale of drugs through online websites. The committee asked the public for suggestion to carry out the necessary amendments in the Drugs and Cosmetics Act. ’
A division bench of justices Naresh Patil and S B Shukhre ordered the committee to also study laws in countries such as the US, the UK and Norway, where online sale of medicines is legal, and of countries such as Turkey, Thailand and Korea, where the same is not allowed.
The bench said, "Why is it that these countries have allowed online sale, and what safeguards have they kept in place to avoid sale of drugs through fraudulent ways has to be examined before we allow or disallow the sale in Maharashtra."
The government initiated action against two websites based on the past instances of sale of Schedule H drugs. The court was of the view that the government should be proactive, as the issue pertains to public health at large.