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A new law on medicines and cosmetics with this provision may legalize the online sale of medicines

A new law could legalize electronic pharmacies in the country, as provisions for the use of information technology in the distribution, manufacture and sale of drugs are envisaged in a bill, has learned. .

The expert group formed by the Modi government to draft laws on drugs, cosmetics and medical devices is ready to submit the draft document by November 30.

Currently, the industry is governed by the Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940 which regulates the import, manufacture, distribution and sale of drugs and cosmetics.

In September, reported that the government had formed an eight-member group, led by India’s Comptroller General VG Somani, to review the country’s drug laws.

Previously, there was no provision on the use of technology in the sale, manufacture and distribution of drugs, as laws were developed long before the advent and use of these services, in 1940.

“The draft document will contain a section on IT provisions. We are in the final stage of finalizing the document and will submit it by the end of this month on time, ”said a government official familiar with the matter.

One of the biggest advantages of including IT provisions in the new laws is that they could additionally be used to legalize the online sale of medicines in India.

Since online sales of medicines, also known as e-pharmacies, are currently unregulated, their existence is constantly met with opposition from mainstream chemists.

Due to the lack of clear laws, e-pharmacies function as marketplaces and serve patients as a platform to order drugs from vendors who adhere to the law and rules on drugs and cosmetics.

“Although the draft document does not specifically refer to online sales, the rules can be formed using the computer provisions of the document for online pharmacies.”

The panel held several meetings with stakeholders before starting the process of writing the first draft.

The panel also took into account suggestions from the Bureau of Narcotics, followed by meetings with drug regulators across India. Consumer groups, associations of chemists, drug manufacturers and contract research organizations (CROs) were also consulted.

(Edited by : Priyanka Deshpande)

First publication: STI


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