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Friday, 19 June 2015
DCG(I) to formulate guidelines for e-commerce marketplace to ensure safety of consumers
appointed as the nodal agency for consolidating the guidelines
responsibilities and liabilities of e-commerce marketplace and the product
sellers need to be clearly defined. It becomes even more critical to have a
framework in place when the intermediary is selling drugs where the safety and
health of the consumer is of paramount importance. This was stated by Dr GN Singh, Drugs Controller General (India) at
a FICCI consultative meeting on ‘Pharma Guidelines for Reinforcing Due
Diligence for Intermediaries (E-commerce Marketplace)’ in New Delhi.
of due diligence by marketplace to ensure consumer safety while selling of
drugs online. FICCI has been appointed as the nodal agency by the DCG(I) for
consolidating the guidelines and was seeking views of OPPI, All India Chemists
and Druggists Association, States Chemists and Druggists Associations, Indian
Medical Association, CIPI, BDMA, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry and
consumer forums, in this regard.
that pharmaceuticals industry needs a new regulatory framework to effectively
bring e-pharmacy under its ambit. The Drugs and Cosmetics Act does not have any
guidelines for e-commerce players in pharma. Hence, it is essential to create
guidelines for e-pharmacy that checks efficaciously the use of technology as
safety of patient, quality of drugs and robust supply chain are prerequisites
advent of technology, e-commerce industry has entered in healthcare space in
the form of e-pharmacy. However, there are issues such as complaint being filed
against e-commerce player/s for online sale of prescription based drugs. To
resolve these issues, Singh suggested that it would be beneficial for the
regulator to engage with stakeholders in constructive brainstorming
deliberations to reach a consensus. He added that the Indian Government was
forthcoming in adopting industry’s recommendations and the DCG(I) would assist
in providing a legal status to implementable suggestions of industry.
assured that the interest of small retailers will be protected and it would be
ensured that e-pharmacy does not disturb the existing supply chain system in
place. The aim would be to integrate e-pharmacy in the existing system. Besides
industry, in the consultative meetings, consumers, doctors and pharmacists
should be adequately represented to have a holistic view on the issue, which
would enable formulation of an innovative policy framework. He added that the
Indian regulatory body was also engaging with international regulators in the
space to derive a forward looking policy.
Prasad, Director General, FICCI, said that FICCI in consultation with
stakeholders had prepared a representation for DCG(I) titled ‘Suggestive
Guidelines for Reinforcing Due Diligence for Intermediaries (E-Commerce
Marketplaces)’. He informed that the document comprehensively discusses the
challenges faced by the sector and also proposes recommendations which can be
deliberated upon to resolve these issues.
meeting, Singh actively interacted with the stakeholders, noted their concerns
and responded to their pertinent queries. Among the stakeholders who spoke on
the occasion was Dr KK Aggarwal, Honorary Secretary General, Indian Medical