The Centre is working towards amending the Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940 to develop a framework to benefit consumers as the existing Act does not differentiate between offline and online pharmacies, a top Health Ministry official said on Monday.
“With the advent of e-pharmacy, there is a need to amend the Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940 as it does not differentiate between offline and online pharmacies. The government is seized of the issue and is working towards amending the existing law to develop a framework where the consumers are benefited,” Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare KB Aggarwal said.
“e-pharmacy will allow easy availability of drugs at all hours. But he flagged concerns with respect to legitimacy of e-pharmacies, patients’ safety and privacy, misuse of e-pharmacy and adverse effect on retailers business,” Aggarwal said while speaking at a FICCI event.
He touched upon the need to create e-pharmacy guidelines that will allow proper tracking and monitoring of sales of drugs, authenticity of online pharmacists and prescriptions, details of patients, helping in reducing drug abuse and counterfeiting.
He suggested that linking a person’s Aadhar with e-pharmacy will ensure correct identification of the person seeking medicines. Deliberations on ensuring privacy and confidentiality of information, are going on and soon, suggestions will be put up for discussion among stakeholders, Aggarwal said.