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This article was first published 9 years ago  » Business » Prescription drugs still available online

Prescription drugs still available online

By Digbijay Mishra
May 04, 2015 12:33 IST
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After FIR against Snapdeal, other sellers scurry to remove medicines

MedicinesPrescription drugs are still available on e-commerce websites such as Amazon and Shopclues despite intense scrutiny on the e-retail sector, following an FIR against Snapdeal co-founder Kunal Bahl.

The Food and Drug Administration authority of Maharashtra on Friday lodged an FIR against Snapdeal after raiding its Mumbai office on Thursday.

A sting operation had revealed that prescription drugs, such as emergency contraceptives, were listed on Snapdeal’s website.

Along with Bahl, the chief executive officer of Snapdeal, directors of the company and distributors of the drugs have also been named in the FIR.

A conviction entails a heavy fine and a possible jail term. 

Despite this, leucorrhoea drugs were available in Amazon India and Shopclues. Leucorrhoea is a vaginal discharge caused by infection or estrogen imbalance, among other causes.

One needs a doctor’s prescription to buy medicines for it.

An email and phone calls to Amazon remained unanswered.

A Shopclues spokesperson said: “We are a venue with over 1 lakh sellers, interacting with a million buyers. We enable and empower small and medium-scale businesses.”

The company also said it runs extensive checks to earn the trust of all stakeholders.

Some other online firms have quickly removed the products from their sites. Clicking on the links revealed in a Google search led to errors.

The free availability of prescription drugs from online retail sites has added to the growing heap of questions on the lack of adequate regulatory framework for the e-tail sector.

Business Standard reported last week that the Drug Controller General of India is planning to frame guidelines to sell medicines online.

This would require the buyer to produce a prescription.

According to experts, one of the key reasons for such incidents is the growing scale of companies and the market model that allows sellers to sneak in products.

The image is used for representational purpose only

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Digbijay Mishra in New Delhi
Source: source

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