Date: 14-Jan-2020

FDA cancels licences of two chemist firms for online drug sale

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday suspended the licence of two Pune-based chemist outlets, one a retailer and another a wholesaler, that were found selling drugs on an online portal in violation of the norms under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940. FDA officials were investigating a complaint about spoilt drugs filed by a customer who had purchased a medicine via an online portal, which were sold by the stores online. The licences of both the firms have been cancelled permanently as they were found to be indulging in business malpractice, informed FDA officials. Under the Drug and Cosmetics Act, 1940, and the Drug and Cosmetics Rules, 1945, online sale of drugs is prohibited. The two drug stores in question are Planet Phrama Warehouse Pvt Ltd, which is a retailer, and Tresera Health Pvt Ltd, a wholesale drug firm, both located in Dhayari, Pune. In December last year, a customer had purchased folic acid medicines from an online portal, which were later found to be spoilt, and FDA received a complaint regarding the same, said officials. “We have permanently suspended the licences of both the firms for violating various legal norms. Planet Pharma was selling the medicines online, while Tresera was supplying them the drugs,” elaborated SB Patil, joint commissioner of FDA, Pune chapter.Both the firms were registered with us since August 2018. We have also written to the Sikkimbased pharmaceutical company about the complaint received by us against the folic acid medicine manufactured by them.” ST Sawant, drug inspector, investigated the complaint, further informed that a similar action was taken against Planet Pharma last year, wherein its licence was temporarily suspended for selling drugs online. “Now, we have suspended the licence permanently and have given them a three-month time frame to discontinue business or to go in for an appeal. We have taken similar actions in the past against chemist shops that were found supplying drugs to online marketplaces,” Sawant said. Stating that he is aware of the issue, Ritesh Oswal, manager, Planet Pharma, said said, “FDA has taken action against us for online sale of drugs. Although the agency has suspended our licence, they have not issued orders to stop doing business. We have three months to stop doing business or go in for appeal. Company directors will take decisions about what is to be done next.”