Maharashtra FDA Orders FIR Against Snapdeal CEO Over Online Sale of Medicines

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Maharashtra FDA Orders FIR Against Snapdeal CEO Over Online Sale of Medicines
Maharashtra's Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) on Friday said it has ordered filing of FIR against e-commerce major Snapdeal.com's CEO Kunal Bahl and directors of the company in a case related to alleged online sale of medicines, including prescription drugs.

FDA Commissioner Harshadeep Kamble told reporters in Mumbai that the filing of an FIR has been ordered against Bahl as well as directors of Snapdeal. When contacted, the company spokesperson did not offer any immediate comment.

Last month, FDA had raided the company's premises in Mumbai in this regard. At that time, Snapdeal had said it was delisting the drugs from its portal and was assisting the regulator in the investigation. The FDA raided Snapdeal's offices in Goregaon, north-west Mumbai, after a specific tip-off was received that prescription drugs like Ascoril cough syrup, Vigora tablets, and other medicines were being sold online, FDA Commissioner Harshadeep Kamble said.

The action against Snapdeal.com was initiated under the Drugs & Cosmetics Act, 1940 Sec. 18 (C), read with Rule 65, stipulating that only a licensed retailer can sell drugs and that too on the basis of a doctor's prescription.

Rule 65 also prescribes the relevant procedures to be adopted by pharmacy stores while selling prescription drugs, especially Schedule H drugs under the Act.

Snapdeal.com is accused of selling various drugs, including those requiring a doctor's prescription, and violating norms.

FDA had earlier issued a notice to the company and it was asked to furnish details of the drugs offered for sale, distribution and exhibited for sale on its website Snapdeal.com.

The raid followed FDA receiving information that various medicines, including prescription drugs, were being sold online through Snapdeal.com.

As per the law, only a licensed retailer can sell drugs, and that too on the basis of prescription of a doctor, Kamble said, adding such type of online sale of drugs is not allowed as self medication can be harmful.

Written with agency inputs

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