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

E-Pharmacies To Seek Legal Recourse As Madras High Court Bans Online Sale Of Medicines

Hours after the Madras High Court issued a ban on the online sale of medicines until the Centre notifies rules, e-pharmacy companies such as NetMeds, PharmEasy and Midlife plan to appeal the court against the ban.

The court on Monday, which asked the central government to finalise regulations by Jan. 31, later gave an extension till 10:30 am on Dec. 20, after which the ban will take into effect, according to the revised order seen by BloombergQuint.

The judgment comes days after Delhi High Court prohibited e-pharmacies—that have raised over $100 million in funding this year—from selling medicines and asked competent authorities to enforce the ban on online sales. The court had given online pharmacies four weeks to file a counter affidavit.

Over 1 million families use e-pharmacies a month, Dharmil Seth, the co-founder of PharmEasy, told BloombergQuint over the phone. “Today, the customer appreciates the benefits of affordable and easily accessible medicines via online platforms. We welcome regulation and are waiting for the draft to be released soon, but it shouldn’t impact customers and especially the senior citizens that rely on platforms such as ours to purchase medicine online,” he said. “We will be applying for a stay tomorrow.”

Pradeep Dadha, founder and chief executive officer of Netmeds.com, too, said that he would pursue seek legal remedy. “We would be filing an appeal and taking the required recourse available under the law,” Dadha said in emailed response to BloombergQuint.