We may finally have a reason for why 2018’s draft e-pharmacy regulations are yet to see the light of day. After the “majority” of responses the government received during past consultations opposed the rules, the drugs regulator is now “contemplating” holding fresh discussions with the relevant parties, noted a status report submitted by the Indian government to the Delhi High Court in an ongoing case on the matter, viewed by MediaNama. Upon receiving the report, the Court gave the government six weeks to update it on the consultation’s outcomes and its final stand on the matter, recorded a May 22nd order issued by Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad, viewed by MediaNama. Why it matters: The government’s draft amendments to the 1945 Drugs and Cosmetics Rules sought to regularise the online sale of medicines by ‘e-pharmacies’. The rules saw opposition from dermatologist Zaheer Ahmed in the Delhi High Court in 2018, after which it temporarily prohibited e-pharmacies from conducting licenceless online drug sales until further orders were issued. Among other things, the petition had argued that the "unregulated sale of medicines online will increase the risk of spurious, misbranded and substandard drugs being sold," posing risks to both patients and doctors. Also read: RTI Exclusive: What Is The Status Of India’s Online Pharmacy Regulations? “The proliferation of illegal e-pharmacies poses significant risks to public health and safety,” noted Yash Aggarwal, Legal Head of the South Chemists and Distributors Association (SCDA), in a press release issued last Friday. “These unregulated platforms can…
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