The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) has issued an Advisory to e-commerce entities concerning the sale of Ayurvedic, Siddha and Unani drugs containing ingredients listed in Schedule E (1) of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945. E-commerce platforms have been advised that the sale or facilitating the sale of such drugs shall be done only after a valid prescription of a registered Ayurveda, Siddha or Unani practitioner respectively is uploaded by the user on the platform. Consuming such drugs without medical supervision can lead to severe health complications.
As per Rule 161(2) of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945, the container of a medicine for internal use for the treatment of human ailments shall, if it is made up of a substance specified in Schedule E (1), be labelled conspicuously with the words “Caution: To be taken under medical supervision” both in English and Hindi language.
It may be mentioned that the Ministry of Ayush issued a public notice on 01.02.2016 informing stakeholders that the aforementioned drugs are required to be taken under Medical Supervision and purchasing the same online should be avoided without medical consultation.
Under Section 18 of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, CCPA is empowered to protect, promote and enforce the rights of consumers as a class, and prevent violation of consumers’ rights. Further, CCPA is empowered to prevent unfair trade practices and ensure that no person engages himself in unfair trade practices.
CCPA consistently monitors the issues affecting consumer welfare. Recently, CCPA issued guidelines to prevent unfair trade practices and protection of consumer interests with regard to the levy of service charges in hotels and restaurants. CCPA has also issued guidelines for the prevention of Misleading Advertisements and Endorsements for Misleading Advertisements to protect consumers against such advertisements.
To safeguard consumer rights while shopping online, CCPA has issued an Advisory to all marketplace e-commerce entities to ensure that details of sellers as mandated under sub-rule (5) of rule 6 of the Consumer Protection (E-commerce) Rules, 2020 including name and contact number of the grievance officer are provided in a clear and accessible manner, displayed prominently to users on the platform.
CCPA has also issued Safety Notices under Section 18(2)(j) of the Act to alert and caution consumers against buying goods which do not hold a valid ISI Mark and violate compulsory BIS standards. While the first Safety Notice was issued with regard to Helmets, Pressure Cookers and Cooking gas cylinders, the second Safety Notice was issued with regard to household goods including electric immersion water heaters, sewing machines, microwave ovens, domestic gas stoves with LPG etc.