The Pharmaceuticals Controller General of India (DCGI) has sent show-cause warnings to 20 online retailers for the illegal sale of drugs online, including Amazon and Flipkart Health Plus. The Delhi High Court judgment, dated December 12, 2018, which forbids the online sale of pharmaceuticals without a license, was referenced in the show-cause notice issued by DCGI V G Somani on February 8th.
According to the notice, the DCGI had sent the directive to all states and Union Territories in May and November 2019 as well as once again on February 3 in order to get the requisite response and compliance. Despite this, they discovered to be engaging in these activities without a license, according to the notification to the online drug sellers.
The notice stated, “You are hereby requested to show cause as to why action should not be taken against you for sale, stock, exhibit, offer for sale, or distribution of drugs in violation of the provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940 and rules made thereunder, within 2 days from the date of issue of this notice. The notice specifies that a license from the relevant state licensing body is required for the sale, stocking, exhibiting, offering for sale, or distribution of any medicine, and that a licence’s terms must be followed by the license holder.
According to the DCGI, if a corporation doesn’t respond, it will be assumed that it has nothing to say in the matter, and appropriate action will be taken against them without further notice. When asked, Flipkart Health Plus stated that it is a digital healthcare marketplace platform that allows millions of customers around the nation to easily and conveniently get real, affordable pharmaceuticals and healthcare products from independent vendors. We are responding correctly to the notice from CDSCO (Central Drugs Standard Control Organization).
As a company, we are steadfast in our commitment to upholding local laws and working to continuously improve our procedures, checks, and controls on our marketplace platform in order to foster customer confidence and improve the customer experience, according to a statement from Flipkart Health Plus. Emails submitted to Amazon India and other companies asking for views on the development have not received a response.
In a joint statement, the national president and secretary general of the trade association Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), BC Bhartia, called on the government to strictly enforce the law and the Delhi high court’s ruling and make sure that no e-commerce company is selling drugs in violation of the Drug and Cosmetic Act. The statement claimed that the government must take stern action against e-commerce, e-pharma intermediates, and marketplace platforms like Amazon and Flipkart who are selling medicines without the necessary license.
The Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy now in place in the multi-brand retail sector or inventory-based e-commerce prevents companies that are foreign-controlled from applying for these retail licenses, according to CAIT.
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