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IPA’s letter to DCGI: Online pharmacies in contravention of the Pharmacy Act

Earlier this month, the Indian Pharmacist Association (IPA) wrote to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) opposing online pharmacies in India. The DCGI earlier this month appointed industry body FICCI to as the nodal agency to consolidate and frame guidelines for online sales of medicines through e-commerce channels. In its letter, obtained by MediaNama, the IPA outlines some of the issues for the proposal for online pharmacies. The IPA's chief concern is that online pharmacies are in contravention of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act which states that drugs should be dispensed by registered pharmacists. Some of the concerns raised by the IPA include: - As per Section 42 of Pharmacy Act "Only Pharmacist can dispense medicine on the prescription of a doctor." And whoever contravenes these provision is punishable with imprisonment. - There are insufficient numbers of Drug Inspectors in Drug Control Department and it will not be easy to monitor each and every online pharmacy. -  As per Schedule P of Drugs and Cosmetic Act, no medicine should be stored at a temperature exceeding 30 degree. Storing medicine above the prescribed temperature make medicines ineffective. - In the absence of a registered pharmacist at online pharmacy wrong medicine may be dispatched to patient and it may cost the life of patients. - There is strong possibility that fake, misbranded, adulterated, counterfeit medicine will be sold through online pharmacies. - There will be a deficit of 5% to 12.5% value added tax to the government and that there will be evasion of taxes by online pharmacies. Our Take: One of the issues that the IPA…

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