The Central government on Tuesday informed the Delhi high court that it will suspend Mitr portal, which is linked to the Aarogya Setu app to promote online sale of medicines, following objections by nearly 8.5 lakh brick-and-mortar retail chemists across India.
The court was hearing a petition filed by the South Chemists and Distributors Association, which alleged that the portal was promoting online pharmacies through the Aarogya Setu app. The petitioners had claimed that the Mitr portal was acting as a marketing tool for epharmacies, and does not mention offline pharmacies. Aarogya Setu Mitr had listed online pharmacies like Netmeds, PharmaEasy, Medlife and 1mg, to offer medicines online.
It added that this is misleading as the Aarogya Setu users believe that drugs for the treatment of Covid-19 were available only through epharmacies, saying that there is no basis for a government-owned platform to promote private commercial ventures.