Government Polices Current Affairs - 2019

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Health Ministry releases draft rules for e-pharmacies to regulate online sale of medicines

Union Health Ministry has released draft rules on sale of drugs by e-pharmacies to regulate online sale of medicines across India. These rules also have been proposed to ensure accessibility and availability of genuine drugs to the people across India from authentic online portals.

Key features of rules

It is mandatory for online pharmacies to register under Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) and obtain trade licence applicable across India from any state government. E-pharmacies only need to take one licence in any state. They can sell drugs all over the country even if they have one licence.

E-pharmacies need to apply for grant of registration to Central Licensing Authority through online portal of Central Government. The registration issued to any person for e-pharmacy will remain valid for three years period from date of its issuance and renewal of registration will have to be done in case it wants to continue.

Registration of e-pharmacy can be suspended or cancelled if it contravenes any provision of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940. E-pharmacy registration holder will have to comply with provisions of Information Technology Act, 2000. It is mandatory for e-pharmacy to maintain keep details of patient confidential and not disclose it to any person other than Central Government or State Government concerned.

The supply of any drug shall be made against cash or credit memo generated through e-pharmacy portal and such memos shall be maintained by e-pharmacy registration holder as record. Sale of tranquillisers, psychotropic drugs, narcotics and habit forming drugs will be prohibited through these portals.

The premises from where e-pharmacy business is conducted will be inspected, every two years, by team of officers authorised by Central Licensing Authority, with or without experts in relevant field or officers authorised by the concerned State Licensing Authority.

It will be binding on e-pharmacies to deliver drugs in specific time that will be told to patient during time of purchase while the e-portals are mandatorily required to have 24/7 call centres. The e-pharmacy cannot advertise any drug on radio or television or internet or print or any other media for any purpose.

Government issues draft amendments to Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989

Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has issued draft amendments to Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, making Vehicle Tracking System device and FASTags mandatory for all commercial vehicles obtaining national permit.

Proposed amendments

FASTags: It makes mandatory for vehicles to affix sticker confirming fitting of the Fastag in front wind screen of vehicles.

National Permit (N/P): It stipulates additional conditions for obtaining national permit. It also includes display of words ‘National Permit or N/P’ in front and rear of vehicles in bold letters. N/P will have to be inscribed on rear and left side incase of trailers.

Tanker carrying dangerous or hazardous goods: Its body has to be painted in white colour and display prescribed class label on both sides and rear of tanker. It should be also affixed with reflective tapes at front and rear.

Fitness certification: It will be not required at time of registration of new transport vehicles sold as fully built vehicles. Such vehicles will be deemed to be having certificate of fitness for a period of two years from the date of registration. Fitness certificate of transport vehicles will be renewed for period of two years for vehicles up to eight years old and for one year for vehicles older than eight years.

Digital Certificates: Henceforth, pollution under control certificates and driving license can be carried in physical or digital form.

Goods carrying vehicles: They will be required to carry goods in closed body of the vehicle or container. In case it is necessary to carry goods in open bodies, then goods will be covered by using tarpaulin or any other suitable material.  Goods of indivisible nature, not capable of being carried in a closed body or being covered, may be carried without cover.

Load Carrying Capacity: The gross vehicle weight (GVW) for two-axle truck (two wheels in front axle and four wheels in the rear) has been raised from 16.2 tonnes to 18.5 tonnes, for three-axle trucks it has been increased from 25 tonnes to 28.5 tonnes; and for five-axle trucks from 37 tonnes to 43.5 tonnes. This will help reduce transportation (logistic) cost and consequently, commodity prices. Overloading is very rampant which will be stopped to an extent along with corruption.