The Madras high court on Wednesday granted an interim injunction restraining online sale of medicines till November 9.
Justice R Mahadevan passed the interim order on a plea moved by the Chennai-based Tamil Nadu Chemists & Druggists Association seeking a direction to authorities concerned to block the links of websites that selling medicines online.
The court directed the Centre to file a counter and posted the matter for further hearing to November 9.
According to the association, though online shopping might be convenient to consumers, purchasing medicines from unlicensed online stores can be risky as they may sell fake, expired, contaminated, unapproved drugs or otherwise unsafe products that are dangerous to patients and which might put their health at risk.
Moreover, laws for pharmacies in India are derived from Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, Drugs and Cosmetics Rule, 1945 and Pharmacy Act, 1948.
These laws were written prior to arrival of computers and India does not have any concrete laws defined for online sale of medicines, the association submitted.
Though various amendments have been made to the Act no provision has been made to utilise information technology for sale of medicines online, it said.