The Madras High Court on Monday banned the sale of medicines online till the Centre notified the final rules bringing e-pharmacies under the ambit of regulation, reported The Economic Times. The court also directed the central government to notify the proposed Drugs and Cosmetics Amendment Rules, 2018, in the Gazette by January 31.

Justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana said that e-pharmacies in the country can sell medicines online only after obtaining licences under the rules that were now in the draft stage, reported The Hindu.

The court was hearing a petition filed by the Tamil Nadu Chemists and Druggists Association seeking a ban on websites that sell drugs until the Centre brings into force a legal framework for online sales.

“Unless the legislation keeps pace with technology, the commerce based on technology has to lag behind,” PTI quoted the judge as saying.

The Madras High Court’s decision came just days after the Delhi High Court ordered a stay on the sale of drugs and prescribed medicines by online pharmacies.

In September, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare published a set of draft rules on the sale of drugs by e-pharmacies in order to regulate the online medicines market. The draft rules said that online pharmacies will have to register with the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation and obtain a trade licence to exhibit, stock and sell drugs.