An employee holds Niacin tablets for a photograph inside a coating unit at the Lupin Ltd. pharmaceutical plant in Salcette, Goa. Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg

Madras High Court Suspends Ban On Online Sale Of Medicines

Bringing relief to online pharmacists in the country, the Madras High Court on Thursday said that there will be no ban on the online sale of medicines, until a final order is delivered.

A division bench comprising Justice M Satyanarayanan and Justice P Rajamanickam has suspended the order after a group of online pharmacists approached the high court earlier this week appealing against the ban on online sale of medicines.

Until the court comes out with the final order, there will be no ban on online sale of medicines, SK Chandrakumar, a lawyer representing the Tamil Nadu Chemists and Druggists Association, a representative body of brick-and-mortar pharmacies, told BloombergQuint over the phone.

As per the previous order passed by Justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana on Monday, the ban on online sale of medicines would have come into effect at 10:30 pm on Dec. 20.

Dharmil Seth, co-founder of online pharmacy PharmEasy, while confirming the suspension of the ban added that they are now waiting for the guidelines to be released at the earliest. PharmEasy was one of the many online pharmacies that had appealed against the ban. “Thankful to the court for hearing our appeal patiently. We are, and will be committed to providing convenience to patients and bringing improvement to the entire sector using technology,” he said.

Over 1 million families use e-pharmacies a month, Seth said, adding that e-pharmacies have raised over $100 million in funding this year alone.

“This ruling validates our commitment of providing affordable and accessible medicines to customers across the country,” Pradeep Dadha, founder and chief executive officer of Netmeds, said in a statement.