Friday February 28, 2020

FDA indicts Snapdeal for selling prescription drugs; Amazon, Flipkart also ‘under’ scanner

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Rx-Drugs

By NewsGram Staff Writer

In a major crackdown on the sale of prescription drugs online, The Maharashtra Food & Drugs Administration (FDA) has come down heavily upon e-commerce website Snapdeal.

As per FDA Commissioner Harshadeep Kamble the FDA sleuths raided Snapdeal’s office in Goregaon, north-west Mumbai, after a specific tip-off was received that prescription drugs like Ascoril cough syrup, Viagra tablets, and other medicines were being sold online.

The official said that Snapdeal.com has been asked to provide details of the people involved, medical stores, companies, their respective documents including agreements, challans, invoices, payment details etc.

The FDA directive mandates Snapdeal to immediately withdraw offers for sale and exhibition of such drugs from its e-commerce sites and delist them, which the company has agreed to comply with.

The FDA has also ordered a search of Snapdeal’s offices and godowns in this connection.

Responding to the allegations, Snapdeal denied findings of any such restricted products at their fulfillment centre by the FDA team. Snapdeal, however, assured help to the FDA sleuths in their investigations.

An official spokesperson of Snapdeal said, “Though we periodically educate sellers on engaging in fair and safe sales on the platform and consequences of selling inappropriate products, at times sellers end up listing such products.”

“Upon being notified of any such products, we delist the products and take appropriate action against such seller. In this case, upon receiving the notice, we have delisted the products and provided all information to the FDA team”, he further added.

The FDA Commissioner also said that Flipkart and Amazon offices will also be investigated to ascertain whether they are also indulging in such activities, for which details are being sought.

Next Story

Amazon Opens Its First Cashier-Less Supermarket

In the new supermarket by Amazon, no checkout will be needed as it is cashier-less

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Amazon
Following the opening of several smaller convenience-type stores using an app and cashier-less technology to tally shoppers' selections, the store will be the first Amazon Go full-sized cashier-less grocery store. Pixabay

The online retailing giant is opening its first cashier-less supermarket, the latest sign that Amazon is serious about shaking up the $800 billion grocery industry.

At the new store, opening Tuesday in Seattle, shoppers can grab milk or eggs and walk out without checking out or opening their wallets. Shoppers scan a smartphone app to enter the store. Cameras and sensors track what’s taken off shelves. Items are charged to an Amazon account after leaving.

Called Amazon Go Grocery, the new store is an expansion of its 2-year-old chain of Amazon Go convenience stores. At 10,400 square feet, the supermarket is more than five times the size of the smaller stores, and stocks more items beyond the sodas and sandwiches found at Amazon Go. The new market stocks fresh baked bread, blood oranges, butternut squash and other food to whip up dinner or stock the fridge.

Amazon Grocery Store
Reusable shopping bags are displayed inside an Amazon Go Grocery store set to open soon in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. VOA

The retailing giant is not new to groceries. It made a splash in 2017 when it bought Whole Foods and its 500 stores. It’s also been expanding its online grocery delivery service.

But it’s still far behind rival Walmart, the nation’s largest grocer, which has more than 4,700 stores. Walmart has also found success with its online grocery service, that lets shoppers buy online and then pickup at stores.

It plans to open another type of grocery store in Los Angeles sometime this year, but the company said it won’t use the cashier-less technology at that location and has kept other details under wraps.

At the new Seattle store, families can shop together with just one phone scanning everyone in. Anything they grab from the shelf will be added to the tab of the person who signed them in. But shopper’s shouldn’t help a stranger reach something from the top shelf: Amazon warns that grabbing an item for someone else means you’ll be charged for it.

Amazon
An Amazon Prime delivery truck travels on Interstate highway in Virginia. VOA

While cashier-less stores remove a major annoyance for customers, waiting in long lines to pay, it also takes away parts of supermarket shopping that some customers may miss. There’s no one to bag groceries at Amazon Go Grocery. Instead, the online retailing giant gives out reusable bags so shoppers can fill them as they shop. And there’s no deli counter, butcher or fishmonger. Instead, packaged sliced ham, steaks and salmon fillets are sold in refrigerated shelves.

Other retailers and startups have been racing to create similar cashier-less technology. Earlier this month, for example, 7-Eleven said it is testing a cashier-less store inside its Irving, Texas, offices.

Also Read- Coronavirus in Iran Leads to Economic Decline

The company declined to say if it plans to open more cashier-less grocery stores. Since it launched its first Amazon Go store in 2018, the Seattle-based company has opened about 25 of them in big cities, such as Chicago, New York and San Francisco. (VOA)