A division bench of the Madras High Court today vacated the ban on the sale of online medicines passed by a single judge on 17 December till statutory rules to regulate the trade were notified by the Union government. The court’s ruling came after a group of e-pharmacy companies had filed an appeal.
Passing the interim orders on a batch of writ appeals by e-pharma firms were Justices M Sathyanarayanan and P Rajamanickam. The judges clarified that the reasons for lifting the ban would apply “only to the limited extent of lifting the ban and not for final disposal of the appeals.” This means that the court’s decision today is not the final verdict and that would have to wait till the next hearing on 24 January.
The ban was imposed following a writ petition filed by the Tamilnadu Chemists and Druggists Association, which contended that it was illegal to sell medicines through online portals and mobile phone apps when the proposed amendments to Drugs and Cosmetics Rules of 1945 were still in the draft stage and yet to be notified in the Gazette.