Amazon and Flipkart Health plus are among the 20 online sellers that have been issued show-cause notices by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) over the online sale of drugs in violation of norms.
The show-cause notice dated February 8 by DCGIV.G. Somani cited a Delhi High Court order dated December 12, 2018, which prohibits online sales of medicines without a licence.
The notice stated that the DCGI had forwarded the order to all state and Union Territories in May and November 2019 and again on February 3 for necessary action and compliance. “In spite of the same, you are found to be engaged in such activities without a licence,” the notice to the online medicine sellers said.
“...You are hereby asked to show cause within 2 days from the date of issue of this notice, why action shall not be taken against you for sale, or stock, or exhibit or offer for sale or distribution of drugs in contravention of the provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act1940 and rules made thereunder,” the notice said.
The notice states that the sale or stock or exhibit or offer for sale or distribution of any drug requires a licence from the concerned state licensing authority and conditions of a licence are required to be complied with by the licenceholders.
The DCGI has said in case of no reply, it will be presumed the company has nothing to say and necessary action will be initiated against them without any further notice.
When contacted, FlipkartHealth Plus said that it is a digital healthcare marketplace platform that enables easy and convenient access to genuine and affordable medicines and healthcare products, from independent sellers and for millions of customers.
“We have received the notice from CDSCO (CentralDrugs Standard Control Organisation) and are responding to it appropriately. As an organisation, we remain committed to complying with the laws of the land and towards continuous improvements of our processes/checks and controls on our marketplace platform to build trust and enhance customer experience,” Flipkart Health plus said.
Amazon is yet to comment on the move.