E-Commerce Channels Violate Drugs & Cosmetics Act: CAIT

The traders' body claimed that mushrooming of e-pharmacy is causing huge hardships to the retail chemists and distributors.

The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has accused e-commerce channels of violating Drugs & Cosmetics Act. The trader’s body wrote to Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, Health Minister Harshvardhan and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, e-commerce channels are adversely affecting the business of lakhs of medicine retailers and chemists.

“It is important to note that sale of prescription drugs and medicines through online medium is illegal. The legal regime, under the Drugs & Cosmetics Act, 1940, does not permit home delivery of prescription medicines for which a prescription “in original” is required,” CAIT said in the letter to Goyal.

“As soon as the markets started reopening in October 2020, after the lockdown, e-pharmacies like PharmEasy and Medlife indulged in deep discounting on their platforms by giving a flat discount of 30 per cent,” it said in the letter to Goyal.

The traders’ body claimed that mushrooming of e-pharmacy is causing huge hardships to the retail chemists and distributors in the wake of anti-competitive practices like capital dumping and deep discounting, leading to predatory pricing.

E-pharmacies like Medlife and 1mg indulged in predatory pricing immediately after the lockdown by offering a 25 per cent discount on medicines and an astronomical 75 per cent discount on wellness products, alleges CAIT.

The Competition Commission of India earlier approved the proposed combination of Medlife and API Holdings. Medlife is primarily engaged in the wholesale and distribution of drugs. API Holdings is the parent entity of the API Holdings group. API Holdings is the parent of PharmEasy, as per reports.

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