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CDSCO working to bring in new norms related to online medicine sales: Dr Jagashetty

Nandita Vijay, Bengaluru
Monday, February 9, 2015, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Central Drugs Standards Control Organization (CDSCO) is now working to bring in new norms related to online medicine sales that is being undertaken by scores of pharmacists across the country, Dr BR Jagashetty, National Advisor, (Drugs Control), and project in-charge for the implementation of two schemes of CDSCO, said.

Keeping pace with the information technology, internet and cell phones, pharmacy trade is seen to be at the cusp of change as online drugs purchases come to the fore. Efforts are on to introduce new standards of pharmaceutical sales in the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, Dr Jagashetty told Pharmabiz.

With the Medical Council of India’s new norms on prescription format mandating doctors to indicate the generic drug name along with an identical medication with the same dosage strength and form, also calls for the need to revise Rule 65 in the present D&C Rules, he added.

With the advent of technology, there is need to update and formulate new set of laws to prevent violations. We would also be insisting on doctor’s registration number among other details to be indicated to the online pharmacy transactions. This is the only way to create transparency, said Dr Jagashetty.

Through online pharmacy trade, chemists and druggists are looking to offer efficient customer service and there is an increase in online prescriptions which are being scanned or typed and mailed to the outlets’ email IDs. The advantage here is that medicines are dispatched to the doorstep of the consumers saving time and providing instant sales. The regulators need to arm themselves to scrutinize the kind of drugs and its quality that are being sold by the pharmacy trade. There is need to keep a watch if the drugs listed under Schedule H, H1 and X are sold with prescriptions.

The European Union in its Falsified Medicines Directive has mandated a common logo for legally operating online pharmacies/retailers in the EU Member States as per its guideline 2011/62/EU. Subsequently it implemented Regulation 699/2014 which mandated use of common logo to identify the legally operating pharmacy retailers. The global regulatory authority viewed the usage of a common logo one of its measures to fight against fake medications.  The implementation of a common logo would ensure technical, electronic and cryptographic requirements for verification of its authenticity of the online pharmacy provider.

With Indian pharma reported to be third in volume, and 14th in value, there is need for a system to be put in place to audit pharmacy outlets that offer online medicines in a bid to thwart illegal sale of medicines and related products, pointed out Dr Jagashetty.


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