Online pharmacies have become a health hazard in India and they are operating unregulated in India. The Maharashtra Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has already approached DCGI for regulating illegal online pharmacies within the state. The Hyderabad drug authorities are also keen on regulating illegal sale of drugs through online mechanism. While online pharmacies in India are under scrutiny yet much more is still required to be done. The illegal online pharmacies and healthcare websites in India need to be curbed as soon as possible.
While Mumbai FDA and other regulatory authorities are doing a great job yet authorities in other parts of India, including Delhi and NCR region, are very lax in curbing illegal online pharmacies operating form these regions. There are many online pharmacies websites in these regions that are not complying with Indian laws and are openly selling bot prescribed and over the counter drugs to local and international consumers.
In another praiseworthy effort, the Mumbai FDA has seized Rs 2 crore worth of sildenafil citrate, popularly known as Viagra, from 27 online firms located in Mumbai, Thane and Pune for selling it illegally to African and European countries. The firms did not have the requisite licence from FDA to sell the drug online or were selling them against fake prescriptions.
Elaborating, S K Patil, FDA’s joint commissioner (drugs) for Greater Mumbai said, “We found the firms were selling large quantities of sildenafil citrate to people living in the US, African and European countries and that they had no buyers in the domestic market. The firms were dispensing the tablets via air courier without obtaining the drug licence from FDA and export licence from the assistant drug controller’s office. A few other firms had licences and also the export licence, but were found to be involved in dispensing drugs against invalid and fake prescriptions. Further investigation is on.”