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New Delhi, NFAPost: Deeply anguished by the recent move of Flipkart to enter in online medicine vertical, the Confederation of All India Traders ( CAIT) has sent a communication to Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandawia drawing their urgent attention to prohibit marketplace e-pharmacies from selling drugs in India so that the provisions of Drugs and Cosmetics Act and Rules (DC Act and Rules) are fully complied with;

CAIT National President B C Bhartia and Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said that DC Act and Rules regulate the import, manufacture (for sale or distribution), sale and distribution of drugs in India and have strict mandatory requirements keeping in mind public health and safety.

Further, no person is permitted to import, manufacture, sell or distribute drugs without a valid license or sell misbranded, adulterated or spurious drugs or sell drugs without an original prescription and all drugs are to be dispensed by a registered pharmacist only;

They further said that we have requested the Government not only to ban marketplace e-pharmacies who have been playing with the lives of the Indian consumer but also to permit only those registered e-pharmacies which distribute or sell drugs, stock and exhibit or offer for sale such drugs;

CAIT National President B C Bhartia and Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said that CAIT will prevent these marketplace e-pharmacies from hiding behind intermediary provisions under Indian laws to avoid any liability/responsibility in the case an adulterated or spurious or counterfeit or incorrect drug reaches the consumer;

Both the trade leaders call for a ban on marketplace intermediaries to put an end to the deep discounting and predatory pricing being done by leading e-pharmacy intermediaries by way of cash burning. The ban will be in best interests of the Indian consumer.

CAIT also urged the government to impose a minimum penalty of Rs 1,00,000 which may extend to Rs 10,00,000 so that violators like Pharmeasy, Netmeds, Flipkart, Amazon Pharmacy, Tata1Mg etc are suitably penalised;

To prevent intermediaries from getting into creative agreements and operate marketplace e-pharmacy platforms, we have also requested the government to ensure that no person must be allowed to establish a web portal to act as an intermediary between the e-pharmacy entity and consumer- said both trade leaders.

CAIT National President B C Bhartia and Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said that through the proposed amendments to the Draft E-Pharmacy Amendment Rules, 2018, CAIT also urged the government to stringently ensure compliance so that drugs are disbursed only from the registered retail pharmacy and only by a registered pharmacist after following due verification process.

These changes are in keeping with the consumer interest in so far that the benefits of technology and e-pharmacies can reach the Indian consumer without putting their health and lives at risk, of any kind- said both Shri Khandelwal & Shri Bhartia.

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