The Drugs and Cosmetics Act, drafted in 1940, is being amended to reflect recent trends and changes, such as e-pharmacies, Shri K B Aggarwal, Additional Secretary (Food and Drugs), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, said .
Shri Aggarwal, who was addressing a session on e-pharmacy in India organised by the Federation of India Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), said the current law fails to distinguish between offline and online pharmacies, a gap that needs to be filled.
He added that while online pharmacies ease patients’ lives, concerns around legitimacy of e-pharmacies, patients’ safety and privacy, misuse of e-pharmacy and adverse effect on retailers’ businesses need to be addressed through guidelines for e-business.
Manisha Shridhar, Regional Adviser, World Health Organisation, said that India can learn from and establish standards used in the European Union, where legitimate online pharmacies will have to carry a logo.
The government is drafting the Drugs & Cosmetics Act, 2016, to reflect the current regulatory hurdles around safety, efficacy and quality of drugs and the pharmacy sector is a priority, said Shri Eswara Reddy, Joint Drugs Controller, Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation.