Amazon, Flipkart among 20 e-pharmacies get DGCI notice for selling drugs without licence
The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has issued show-cause notices to 20 online sellers, including Amazon and Flipkart Health plus, over the online sale of drugs in violation of norms.
Dated February 8, the notice by DCGI V G Somani cites a Delhi High Court order dated December 12, 2018, which prohibits online sales of medicines without a licence. It said that the drug regulator had forwarded the order to all state and Union Territories in May and November 2019 and again on February 3 for necessary action and compliance.
"In spite of the same, you are found to be engaged in such activities without a licence," the notice to the online medicine sellers said.
"...You are hereby asked to show cause within 2 days from the date of issue of this notice, why action shall not be taken against you for sale, or stock, or exhibit or offer for sale or distribution of drugs in contravention of the provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940 and rules made thereunder," the notice said.
The sale or stock or exhibit or offer for sale or distribution of any drug requires a licence from the concerned state licensing authority and conditions of a licence are required to be complied with by the licence holders, as per the notice.
In case of no reply, the DCGI said it will be presumed that the company has nothing to say in the matter. Necessary action will be initiated against the online sellers without any further notice.
Flipkart Health Plus said that it is responding to the notice and added that it remains committed to complying with the laws of the land.
"We have received the notice from CDSCO (Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation) and are responding to it appropriately. As an organisation, we remain committed to complying with the laws of the land and towards continuous improvements of our processes/checks and controls on our marketplace platform to build trust and enhance customer experience," PTI quoted Flipkart Health Plus.
Earlier, Traders body Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) National President BC Bhartia and Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal in a joint statement demanded the government to strictly enforce the law and the judgment of the Delhi High Court. They urged the Centre to ensure that no e-commerce company is selling medicine violating the Drug and Cosmetic Act.