The Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940 regulates the import, manufacture and distribution of drugs in the country. The main aim of the act is to ensure that all the drugs sold in India are of standard quality. This act is now being amended to reflect the recent changes and trends evolving around the pharmaceutical sector.
A session on "E-pharmacy in India Last Mile Access of Medicines," organized by the Federation of India Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) was addressed by Mr. K. B. Aggarwal, the Additional Secretary (Food and Drugs), Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, who stated that the arrival of e-pharmacies in the country creates a need to revise the existing Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940 as the current law fails to differentiate the offline and online pharmacies. He also said that the government is working to develop a new setup which would benefit the consumers as e-pharmacies help in the easy accessibility of drugs at all hours.
‘The Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940 is now being redrafted by the Government of India to regulate e-pharmacies.’
However, Mr. Aggarwal stressed the necessity to create proper e-pharmacy guidelines for ensuring the safety of the consumers. These guidelines should focus mainly on the authenticity of the pharmacists, prescriptions and the details of the patients inorder to reduce drug abuse and illegal drug trading. It should also allow proper monitoring and tracking of the drugs that are being sold. Linking the aadhar number(Unique Identification Number for Indian citizens) with e-pharmacies will also help in knowing that the correct person is buying the medicines.
Mr.S. Eswara Reddy, The Joint Drugs Controller of India, Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation said that the Government of India is currently working to revise the Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940 inorder to regulate e-pharmacies that will provide safe, efficacious and quality medicines for the people.
He also added that there should be a standard format for prescriptions and all the regulatory requirements need to be strengthened as the pharmaceutical sector is a major priority for the Government.