Maharashtra asks Centre to ban online sale of abortion pills, drugs | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Maharashtra asks Centre to ban online sale of abortion pills, drugs

The Maharashtra government said it has sought permission from the Centre to amend the act preventing the online sale of the drugs and pills for termination of the pregnancy.

mumbai Updated: Jul 17, 2015 23:09 IST
HT Correspondent
Abortion pills

The Maharashtra government said it has sought permission from the Centre to amend the act preventing the online sale of the drugs and pills for termination of the pregnancy.

The government told the Legislative Assembly on Friday that around 30,000 women above 18 years from the city, 1,600 below 18 years and 185 below 15 years have undergone abortions in 2013-14.

The issue of the illegal online trade of the drugs meant for the termination of the pregnancy and pills such as Viagra was also raised in the House. The legislators alleged that many such drugs, which are scheduled drugs, were sold online despite their sale the fact they are not allowed to be sold without the prescription. They also alleged that no action has been taken despite complaints against the websites.

Revenue minister Eknath Khadse told the Lower House that the government has registered cases against some websites for selling scheduled drugs. “The online websites are registered and operated from outside the country and action against them becomes difficult. We have urged the Central government to make amendments in the existing laws to empower the government to take action against such sites. We will also launch an awareness drive among the people to put a check on the online sales (of these drugs),” he said.

Legislator Dr Milind Mane, who raised the issue in the Assembly, said the online sale of these drugs makes them easily accessible to the youth. “Many youngsters consume Viagra tablets beyond permissible limits, leading to many side effects such as obesity and high blood pressure,” he said.

Khadse said following the effective implementation of the PCPNDT Act in the state, the rate of female foeticide has reduced drastically.

“We have been pursuing the Central government to take action against the online traders operating from outside the country. We have received a positive reply from the Centre about this. We also have also asked the FDA to crack down on traders and chemists selling these drugs without prescription"

‘Difficult to take action against websites flouting laws’
The issue of the illegal online trade of the drugs meant for the termination of the pregnancy and pills such as Viagra was raised in the assembly on Friday. The legislators alleged that many such drugs, which are scheduled drugs, were sold online. They also alleged that no action has been taken despite complaints against the websites.

Revenue minister Eknath Khadse told the lower house that the government has registered cases against some websites for selling scheduled drugs. “The online websites are registered and operated from outside the country and action against them becomes difficult. We have urged the Central government to make amendments in the existing laws to empower the government to take action against such sites. We are also launching an awareness drive among the people to curb the online sales (of these drugs),” he said.

Helpline to report sale of illegal drugs
Revenue minister Eknath Khadse told the legislative assembly on Friday that the government has launched a dedicated helpline – 1800222365 - for citizens to lodge complaints against illegal sale of the drugs

The minister admitted that the sale of such drugs was rampant till few months ago before the state government initiated action against some of them. He also claimed that following action, the online sale of abortion kits and pills has reduced drastically