Indian court tells state government to regulate online drug sales

The High Court of Mumbai has ordered the Indian state government of Maharashtra to start regulating online sales of medicines until the federal government can come up with laws to deal with the controversial issue, according to a report in the Business Standard.

In response, the government told the court it had set up a committee to study the issue.

The committee will be under the control of the country's Food and Drug Administration and after hearing from NGOs, pharmaceutical representatives and others, the committee would issue recommendations as to how the country can amend its Drugs and Cosmetics Act to deal with online sales, the report said.

The court ruling came after a petition was filed by a Mumbai-based college teacher who said one of her students became ill after taking "abortion pills" that she had acquired through an online portal, the Business Standard said.

The court is scheduled to hold another hearing on the issue on Nov. 26.

Online drug sales sparked a nationwide protest in mid-October when more than 800,000 brick-and-mortar pharmacies shut down across the country. India has a range of online start-ups looking to enter the online market to match the sales seen in countries like China and the U.S.

- here's the story from the Business Standard