The Centre is planning to regulate the e-pharmacy industry over misuse of data, sources said.
According to a source, the Health Ministry is working on a policy to regulate the e-pharmacy industry market in the country, and a Group of Ministers (GoM) are in favour of the closure of e-pharmacies. "They did not propose the idea in the present shape. The government can take action against them," the source said.
"Health Ministry has taken note of malpractices reported in the sector which lead to concerns over data privacy, sales of medicines without prescription, and predatory pricing," the source added.
The action follows after the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) last month issued a show-cause notice on online pharmacies asking them why action should not be taken against them for selling and distributing drugs without licence.
The notice was issued to online pharmacies including Tata 1mg, Amazon, and Flipkart, for selling and distributing drugs in contravention of provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940.
"This office has received various representations from time to time raising concerns regarding sale of drugs through online, internet or other electronic platforms including various mobile applications, in contravention to the provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 & Rules there under. Such sale includes drugs specified in Schedule H, HI and X which are only allowed to be sold by retail under a valid prescription of a registered medical practitioner and supplied under the supervision of a registered pharmacist," the DCGI had said in the notice.
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