Aggrieved by the single bench order of Madras high court banning the sale of online medicines until the Centre notifies the rules by January 31, 2019, a clutch of online pharmacy companies on Tuesday moved the court with an appeal. The matter is likely to be taken up for hearing on Wednesday.
Six online pharmacy companies including Netmeds and Medilife had impleaded in the petition filed by the Tamil Nadu Chemists and Druggists Association (TNCDA) before the single judge, and according to sources, most of them have submitted their appeal with the division bench against the order.
The companies will be making prayer before the division bench to see reasons that they are not violating any rules or regulations under the Act. Responding to Monday’s order Pradeep Dadha, founder & CEO, Netmeds.com said, “Following the ruling by the Madras high court on December 17, 2018, wherein the court has directed the central government to notify the statutory rules related to online sale of drugs and medicines by January 31, 2019, the said order has been suspended till December 20. We would be filing an appeal and taking the required recourse available under the law. The benefits of affordable and accessible medicines through our services have been appreciated by customers across the country, and as a fully licensed pharmacy, Netmeds.com is committed to adhering to all the guidelines and standards as prescribed under the drugs and cosmetic act of 1940”.
Justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana on Monday passed the order directing the Centre to notify the rules before January 31, 2019 and asked the online pharmacies to get approval from the authorities for their operations post notification of the rules. Till then, the court said, the stay on online sales of medicines would prevail.
However, the judge, after the pronouncement, conceding to the request of the companies, has said that the order passed against online sales will not be given effect to till 10.30 am on December 20, allowing time for the online pharmacies to go for an appeal. Tushar Kumar, CEO and founder of Medlife said: “Keeping the interest of millions of our customers, most of whom are senior citizens and who are dependent on us, we will file an appeal with the court, specially since we are duly licensed at every premise from where we dispense.”
The single judge had observed that it becomes necessary for the central government to notify the rules at the earliest in the interest of public and the on-line drug trade. Thereafter, the concerned stakeholders, namely, persons doing trade in on-line pharmacy have to obtain their licences in the manner prescribed in the rules to be notified, within a period of two months from the date of such notification, the judge said.