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    You may soon need prescription to buy ayush medicines online

    healthcare | IST

    You may soon need prescription to buy ayush medicines online

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    'The Consumer Affairs Ministry noting the space being unregulated, has now decided to issue specific guidelines and prohibit e-pharmacies/e-commerce portal from selling ayush medicines under specific schedule without valid prescription,' sources said.

    In what could be a game changer when it comes to the sale of ayush medicines in the country, the Consumer Affairs Ministry may soon issue guidelines to ensure that e-pharmacies and e-commerce portals do not sell these traditional medicines without prescription.

    According to sources, “The Consumer Affairs Ministry noting the space being unregulated, has now decided to issue specific guidelines and prohibit e-pharmacies/e-commerce portal from selling ayush medicines under specific schedule without valid prescription.”

    Once the guidelines are in place, they will be in sync with existing guidelines for e-pharmacies/e-commerce portals selling mainstream medicines, which also has a restriction for a certain category of drugs, which cannot be sold without a valid prescription.

    The move comes on the back of the Ministry of Ayush writing to the Ministry of Electronic and Information Technology and Department of Consumer Affairs to issue directives to all online sellers that ayureveda, siddha and unani drugs should not be sold without a valid prescription for a certain category of drugs.

    Post the pandemic, India has seen a sudden demand for traditional medicines, and government feels excessive consumption in certain cases has led to serious health problems.

    “We have asked the Consumer Affairs Ministry, wherein the caution – ‘To be taken under Medical supervision’ is printed on the label of its container and / or contains any of the ingredient/s as listed in Schedule E (1) of Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945, the same shall be sold, only  on the basis of a valid prescription of registered medical practitioner which is uploaded by the purchaser/ patients on the online portal,” said a senior Ayush Ministry source on the condition of anonymity.

    Not just this, “when the matter was thoroughly examined by the government, it was noted that in some cases, e-pharmacies and e-commerce portals were also selling weed, hash and other narcotic substances in the name of ayush drugs, which is totally illegal and unfair trade practice,” sources told CNBCTV18.

    Once the guidelines are in place, it will help to educate sellers and consumers towards adverse effects of ayush medicines without proper medical guidance.

    Given the huge demand, a number of pharma companies and FMCG companies have launched their range of ayurvedic drugs and supplements, which are easily available at nearby departmental stores, pharmacies and across e-commerce portal and e-pharmacies.

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