Financial Cost Of Judicial Overreach? Sale Of Online Drugs Suspended In Madras  Madras HC passed an interim injunction restraining sale of medicines through online mode till 11 Nov. (Representative image) (Law/Evening Standard/Getty Images)

The Madras High Court on Wednesday (31 October) passed an interim injunction to halt the online sale of medicines, Times of India reported. The order suspends online pharma traders from selling drugs until 11 November.

Justice R Mahadevan passed the interim order plea in favour of the Tamil Nadu Chemists & Druggists Association. The association, in its appeal, had sought to move the Madras High court because it believes purchasing medicines from unlicensed online stores can lead to risking the health of patients.

Though online shopping is convenient, patients’ health may be at risk as stores can sell fake, expired, contaminated, below standard quality, unapproved drugs or otherwise unsafe products.

The laws for pharmacies in India are derived from various laws, written before India witnessed the age of computers like the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, the Drugs and Cosmetics Rule, 1945 and the Pharmacy Act, 1948. Despite having various amendments to the Acts, there is no provision to incorporate the use of information technology for sale of medicines online, the association said.

The petitioner wanted the court to order authorities to block links of websites that carry out the sale of Schedule H and Schedule X medicines in violation of statutory provisions. Furthermore, the court has directed the additional solicitor general to get instructions from the central government on the matter.

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