In a landmark judgement, the Delhi High Court has ordered a ban on sale of online medicines by e-pharmacists across the country. The court directed both Central and State Government to immediately implement the order.

PiramalA bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V K Rao on Wednesday passed the judgement while hearing a PIL filed by Delhi-based dermatologist Zaheer Ahmed.

Through the plea, Ahmed had contested that lakhs of medicines were being sold on the internet every day in unbridled manner and without any regulation posing a huge risk to people. She had also put up the argument that online sale of medicines is not permitted under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Pharmacy Act, 1948.

“Unlike common items, drugs are highly potent and its misuse or abuse can have serious consequences on human health, not just for the person consuming it but for humanity at large as some drugs can be addictive, habit forming and harmful to the body. A large number of children/minor or people from uneducated rural background use internet and can be victims of wrong medication while ordering medicines online,” text of the PIL as quoted by ET reads.

The Union Health Ministry had come out with draft rules on sale of drugs by e-pharmacies in September this year to regulate online sale of medicines and provide patients accessibility to genuine drugs from authentic online portals.

As per the rule, the registration would be mandatory and no person will be able to distribute or sell, stock, exhibit or offer for sale of drugs through e-pharmacy portal unless he registers the same.

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