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March 31, 2020

Lockdown: Govt allows doorstep delivery of essential medicines

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Amid the ongoing nationwide lockdown to contain COVID-19 outbreak, the Union Health Ministry on Thursday allowed doorstep delivery of essential medicines as part of an effort to restrict people’s movement further.

IMAGE: People queue-up outside a chemist store during the nationwide lockdown in Mumbai. Photograph: Kunal Patil/PTI Photo

According to a notification issued by the health ministry, medical retailers will be allowed to provide drugs to people at their doorstep.


This order shall come into force on the date of its publication in the official gazette, the notification said.

‘The central government is satisfied that retail sale of drugs to doorstep of consumers is essential to meet the requirements of emergency arising due to COVID-19 and in the public interest, it is necessary and expedient to regulate the sale and distribution of drugs for their delivery to consumers,’ it read.

The notification further said that any such sale of a drug that falls under Schedule H of the Drugs and Cosmetic Act shall be based on receipt of prescription physically or through email.

Further, the licensee shall submit an e-mail ID for registration with the licensing authority if prescriptions are to be received through email for these drugs.

It also read that the prescription shall be dispensed only if it is presented to the licensee within 30 days of its issue and in acute cases, the prescription shall be dispensed only if it is presented to the licensee within seven days of its issue.

The bill or cash memo shall be sent by the return email and records of all such transactions shall be maintained by the licensee, the notification said.

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