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Legality of Buying Medicines Online in India

  • By Admin
  • 31 Mar 2017

The coming and functioning of online medicine stores has faced many challenges since its inception. Many people are still confused about the legality of online medical stores. The biggest concern behind the questionable condition of virtual pharmacies is the trend of providing medications without proper prescriptions. All such ill-practices give birth to doubts and confusions. The biggest threat of buying medicines without having a proper prescription has been conquered by allowing the clients to upload the prescription in the virtual format. Once it is uploaded, the online pharmacy takes it for verification to check on the authenticity of the same. An interesting addition to this practice is that one prescription can be used only once to purchase medicines online. The law supporting buying of medicines online has been divided into three main categories:

  • Green Zone: This zone comprise of only those drugs that can be offered only by registered pharmacies. Hence, the orders can be taken only from those areas where the license holds valid.
  • Grey Zone: Grey zone caters to the confusion regarding the sale of a particular drug in a particular state. There is nothing like an inter-state medicine sale license. Here arises the question on the legality aspect with respect to the payments settled through debit and credit cards.
  • Red Zone: The red zone clearly marks whatever is prohibited with respect to the selling of drugs. Selling drugs without a valid prescription is a big no. Also, it is absolutely illegal to sell medicines at a price higher than the market retail price.

Some of the main bodies designing regulations for online pharmacies are FICCI, Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They introduce laws by following the guidelines of the Information Technology(IT) Act, Pharmacy Practice Regulations, 2015, the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, and Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act. All the bodies are collectively working towards the betterment of online medicine market and to majorly ensure convenience and safety of the layman.