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DCGI tightens its control over online pharmacies- imposes temporary ban

DCGI tightens its control over online pharmacies- imposes temporary ban

Furthering its stance on controlling the functioning of online pharmacies in the country , Drug Controller General of india (DGCI) has placed a Temporary Ban over the online sale of drugs. This ban will be effective till proper legal mechanism is put in place for online pharmacies and in particular till a subcommittee under the chairmanship of Dr. Harshdeep Kamble, commissioner, FDA, Maharashtra submits its report.

AS stated in the order sent to all state administrations, DCGI has requested them to put a strict vigil on online sale of medicines and take action against those indulging in online sale of medicines in violation of the Drug and cosmetic Act and rule s there under, in the interest of public health .

Further the authorities have been requested to disseminate this communication to all Licensing authorities under their jurisdiction for similar action in this licensing as well as inform the Central office about action taken from time to time in the matter.

“Although the ban is temporary , it is still a ban. Hence, local drug control authorities must need to react quickly to ensure the proper implementation of rule,  as several online pharmacy stores are still operating on the ground,” said Ramesh Chandra Gupta, president of the Hyderabad chapter of AIOCD told TOI.

Earlier last year, in opposition of Online sale of medicines, more than 8 lakh of chemist under the banner of AIOCD had gone on a strike on 14th october 2015. They had stressed that  from the general point of view online sale of medicines (e-pharmacy) is misusing the prescription drugs besides creating unemployment. so government needs to be make sure that online line sale of drugs must be banned.

Read Also-More than 8 Lakh Chemists gear up for shutter down on 14th October

Further over on online sale of drug Union health minister J.P Nadda had clearly stated his view that no decision has yet been taken to allow sale of medicines using the internet, and the process of bringing the online pharmacies under the Drug and Cosmetic Act, 1940 is still impending.

Although these policies are still pending, a number of ventures of online pharmacies have come up in the past six months, who are selling both OTC and prescription drugs online. While many have setup a business model requiring physical verification of prescriptions on nearby chemists, it still remains to be seen what would be permitted in the draft guidelines.

Meanwhile, in the light of above order, it would be difficult for the e-retailers of medicines to function at all.

 

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  1. How is it different ?

    About a year back, 8 lakh druggists and chemists went on a strike to demand action from the Centre against ” illegal ” online sale of medicines by E Pharmacies such as 1mg / PharmEasy / Netmeds etc
    On Dec 30 2015 , Drug Controller General of India ( DGCI ) issued a circular asking online pharmacies to strictly adhere to the Drugs and Cosmetics Act and Rules
    But no ban on Online Pharmacies
    Online pharmacies argued :
    * We are only Search Engines which enable buyers to search for specific drugs / sellers of such drugs and place orders online
    * We neither ” store / stock ” any drugs nor ” sell ” these stored drugs
    * We pass on the buyer’s order to selected Chemists , who actually fulfill the order and collect payment
    * We insist on a Doctor’s Prescription in case of Scheduled Drugs
    * By providing a platform to lakhs of small chemist-shops , we are helping them to prosper
    * We are providing a buyer , many more options to choose from lakhs of small chemists
    * By increasing competition amongst Sellers, we are benefiting the buyers thru lower prices
    * We are even increasing competition among the Drug Manufacturers
    * We are helping break the unholy nexus between doctors / chemists / manufacturers
    * We are not much different in our ” Scope ” when compared to many other online platforms , where Buyer / Seller find each other and transact business, with minimum involvement of the online platform itself
    Such platforms have existed for a long time , not only for products but even for ” Services ” of all kinds
    But unless a fool-proof solution is found fast , things could get out of control !
    Now is the right time for finding a permanent solution to this evolving scenario which will benefit all the parties concerned , viz:
    * General Public ( Users / Patients )
    * Doctors prescribing drugs
    * Manufacturers of drugs
    * Chemists / Druggists
    * All India Organization of Chemists and Druggists ( AIOCD )
    * Association of Drug Manufacturers
    * Indian Medical Institute / All India Medical Association
    * DGCI
    * Ministry of Health ….etc
    I offer such a solution below :
    ————————————————————————————————–

    3 D – Digital Delivery of Drugs ?
    ( let us call it , ” Dispenser ” )

    My take :

    * One day , everything will be sold online from web sites 10,000 Km away !
    * There is no way march of EVERYTHING ONLINE can be stopped or slowed

    My Suggestions :

    * Govt to upload a Mobile App ( DISPENSER ? ) on Health Ministry web site

    * All doctors must download it , after proper registration / authentication

    * App will get embedded with full details of that doctor who uses it

    * Doctors to enter Patient Data in App / then enter prescribed Drug Details

    * Doctor will SMS app data entered , to concerned patient’s mobile

    * Patient will SMS entered app data to mobile of Chemist of his choice

    * Chemist will deliver the medicine to the patient with Bill Details in App

    * Users ( Buyers of medicines ) will make payment to the concerned
    Chemist ,thru
    # a Mobile Wallet embedded in DISPENSER app , or
    # a Credit / Debit Card ( RuPay preferred )
    # Cash ( this method to be discontinued after 3 years )

    * Every action / transaction on App , will get automatically emailed to
    web Servers of ,

    # Health Ministry
    # All India Medical Association
    # All India Organization of Chemists and Druggists ( AIOCD )
    # Drug Controller General of India

    Advantages :

    * Jobs / business of Chemists / Druggists saved

    * Great convenience for patients / no need to visit Drug Store

    * No chance of Chemist ” misinterpreting ” doctor’s handwriting !

    * Full History of
    # Each purchase
    # Each Patient…. ( great benefit to Prescribing doctors )
    # Each Drug…… ( great benefit to Pharma Companies )
    # Each Chemist Shop… ( great benefit to Govt / AIOCD / Tax Dept )
    # Each Doctor…….. ( great interest to All India Medical Association )

    * Analyzing billions of such Mobile App based transactions , using BIG
    DATA analytics , will yield mind-boggling PREDICTIVE TRENDS , which
    will ,
    # help spot potential outbreaks of epidemics , beforehand
    # automatically compute unique Medical Insurance Premium for each
    citizen

    For the benefit of millions , let us harness the Online Delivery technology
    That is the only way DIGITAL INDIA can benefit the entire society
    Solutions to all the problems of the World are known
    Only Unknown are those dedicated persons determined to implement !

    ————————————————————————————-

    hemen parekh
    09 Jan 2016
    http://www.hemenparekh. in / blogs

Source: TOI

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