Authored by - Mr. Sanat Saluja
Designation - Student, CLS GIBS
Advancement of e-commerce in India has created an opened an arena to plug most of the products and items which can reach almost everybody. Online pharmacy is one in every of the products which is preparing to make an infinite demand in upcoming days. a web pharmacy is an internet based or is named as online method of sale via vendor of pharmaceuticals, and also the term encompasses both legitimate and illegitimate pharmacies. The sale of medicines outside the regular retail pharmacy isn't new. Also this concept of sale of online medicines are a source of recent attraction for consumers because the people get inquisitive about the attractive offers and delivery system. it's said that individuals within the remote areas are often the one who can get the benefits but usually not the one who avail this and gets trapped into purchase of some duplicate or items that must not be consumed by them. the reason behind the acts are only lack of knowledge of consumer protection and basic knowledge that must be applied. Not only in remote areas but can even be seen in cities the aim where the untold stories happen that the image of the net sale of pharmacies where the aim is to urge profits but through sale of medicines that are either not prescribed or to not run without prescription. The solo aim is that sale would increase but the only one that may get effected would be the client . pharmaceutical e-commerce could even be more a “blessing than a curse” when it involves satisfying the final public need for quality medication. There aren't any dedicated online pharmacy laws in India as on date. it's believed that, properly regulated, the net pharmacy business will be of benefit to India. The trending business is creating a challenging trend in society there the laws aren't proper even having proper statues but the appliance isn't proper thus creating a challenge to the regulatory authority.
The story of such online pharmacies is named as a good and bad market both at same time as sale is seen on such various platform where all kinds of medication and dosages are sold with none pre inquiry or checks that lands up in exploitation of majorly youth of country to urge such drugs easily .To secure the interests of consumers both Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945,and laws that job for the client care and welfare have clear guidelines regarding storage and dispensing of such medicines specially in online method of sale. The prescription must be in duplicate and one copy of which is to be retained by the licensed pharmacist for 2 years.
Various challenges are already there with such e commerce websites. That challenge isn't only to the purchasers but also to the regulatory body where the duty to fret and protect the innocent consumers lies.The D&C Act 1940, and also the D&C Rules 1945 has guidelines on the sale of Schedule H and Schedule X drugs. These is sold only on prescription from a well qualified practitioner, and there are specific rules, including for labeling and bar coding when the sale is to be made. There are multiple laws in India that govern managing food, health, cosmetics, drugs, medicines, and nutraceuticals in India and to control all rules and regulations are there but offenders are there. Online sale and buy of pharmaceuticals and medicines in India are collectively governed by these and other laws. Many online pharmacies in India are inviting legal risks by not following the applicable laws during this regard. These laws are too old to cater to the advancements in technology and are currently a gray area.
Use of “cyber doctors/online consultancy,” the dispensing of medication while not prescriptions, and conjointly the import of prescription medications square measure simply the tip of the iceberg. “Cyber actors” valuate patients through questionnaires and checklists and dictate medication supported this communication. there's major drawback which might be easily experienced by many of us that expired ,dud, decayed , contaminated medicines are sold that arises the danger of both illness and might cause death also. The story of such sale has created a lobby or a hub where medicines are given on cheaper rate and owners get profits from the products that are already either dead or consumption of them could cause someone dead. As per the patron law these are illegal and fraudulent act and are punishable under the law. Usually by this method of online sale people feel easier thanks to buy them and how intent on avoid an on the spot contact to the doctor which hesitation of them may lead to serious issues in near future.
To have a secured and better future with proper use of online platform purchasable purchase and to take care of the status of consumer protection and to be protected against all such first the role of consumers should be clear because the knowledge should be there to the one that goes to shop for such medicines and even have the knowledge of what's good and bad and awareness must be present to curb such fraudulent practice. Awareness camps for both seller and purchaser should be organized so the applying of consumer law should be. Also the buyer protection act together with drug act and food safety act should encourage the rechecks and proper marking of product as per the law permits so mal products shouldn't be sold. Consumer forums should pass guidelines and will work along with clinics and medical institutes , hospitals to bring people know the worth of authentic medicines and various other things that ought to help them. Consumer protection laws should be amended time to time and also should be much strict in nature for the offenders of law and laws should be quite aid to the those who needs such help to fight against the offenders. Consumer protection departments should ensure all the online platforms of medicines and drug sale should be well registered and their data and permit must be up to date and proper license should be issued and government recognition must be there so that if people want to purchase a feeling of trust and assurance must be there. Consumer protection law should create such policies that assure that certain drugs and medication that include some substances that needs prior permit and proper recommendation such should be when authentic request with proper documents will be shown. If proper checks will be maintained by both law and people then it could be easily said that it is not a difficult task to stop the activities that are harming the online platform of pharmacies.