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Maharashtra asks Snapdeal to stop selling prescription drugs

Flipkart, Amazon, too, under radar

Sanjay Jog  |  Mumbai 

Maharashtra’s Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has cracked the whip on e-retailer for selling prescription drugs online. It has asked the company to immediately stop selling prescription drugs and delist such drugs from the website.

The FDA has also ordered a visit to the offices of Flipkart and Amazon to check whether similar activities are going on there. Flipkart and Amazon have been asked to furnish full details.

FDA commissioner Harshadeep Kamble, who ordered his team to search the Snapdeal office in north Mumbai on Thursday, told the Business Standard: “By the Section 18 (c) of Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, to be read with Rule 65, only a licensed retailer is entitled to offer the sale of drugs and that too only on the basis of a prescription by a doctor. The FDA team raided the Snapdeal premises after the receipt of information that various drugs, including the prescription drugs, were being offered for sale and sold through The specific information was with regard to the sale of Ascoril cough syrup and Vigora tablets.”

Rule 65 speaks of the procedure to be adopted by medical stores while selling prescription drugs. Under the rule, prescription from the registered medical practitioner is necessary for the sale of schedule H drugs.

Kamble said the company was asked to furnish the details of persons involved, medical stores, companies involved and their respective documents, including agreements, challans, invoices and payment details.

He said Snapdeal agreed to delist prescription drugs offered on its website.

“Such online sale of drugs is not allowed under the Act. Such kind of self-medication may be harmful for the patients. Snapdeal-like agencies cannot act like the doctor or the pharmacist.” According to Kamble, the FDA, through such actions, wants to curb the menace of internet-based sale of drugs, which are harmful to patients.

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First Published: Sat, April 18 2015. 00:44 IST