The Indian Parliament passed the Drugs and Cosmetics Act of 1940, which oversees the import, production, and distribution of drugs in India. Its main objective is to ensure that the drugs and cosmetics marketed in India are reliable, efficient, and in compliance with the national standards. The associated Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945, which were formulated in association with the 1940 Act, provide provisions for classifying medications into schedules and instructions for the storage, sale, presentation, and prescription of each schedule.  

Objectives of the Act

  • On April 10, 1940, the Drug & Cosmetics Act was passed, with the main purpose of legalizing the import, manufacturing, distribution, and sale of drugs and cosmetics.
  • The Act oversees medication imports into India, ensuring that no substandard or counterfeit drugs enter the country.
  • The Act prohibits the production of inferior or counterfeit pharmaceuticals in the country.
  • The Act requires only qualified and competent personnel to sell and distribute medicines, as well as the manufacture, sale, and distribution of Ayurvedic, Siddha, Unani, and Homeopathic drugs.
  •  The provisions of the Act control the import, manufacture, sale, and distribution of cosmetics.
  • To have drug inspectors visit licensed premises regularly.
  • Monitoring pharmaceutical and cosmetic standards by collecting samples and analyzing them in accredited laboratories.
  • Creating distinctive regulations to control the manufacture, standardization, and storage of biological and special products, as well as prescribing how different types of drugs and cosmetics should be labeled and packed.

Salient features of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act

The Act has made great efforts to regulate the pharmaceutical industry in India, thereby protecting the public's health and safety. Some of the Act's most notable elements are as follows:

  • The maximum punishment is life imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 10 lakhs or three times the value of the confiscated goods, whichever is larger.
  • In addition to officers from the Drug Controller's Office, other gazette officers are authorized to commence prosecution under the Act; some of the offenses are cognizable and non-bailable.
  • Specialized courts for the trial of Act-related offenses.
  •  Provision for the accumulation of minor violations.

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