On 8 January 2013, SFDA released a report
("Report") concerning the results of its
continuing investigations into online pharmaceutical trading
activities conducted pursuant to the Notice to Further Enhance
Supervision and Administration over Internet Drug Information
Services and Internet Drug Trading Services to Severely Crack Down
on the Illegal Release of False Drug Information and Drug
Sales (SFDA  No. 62)
("Notice") issued by SFDA on 24 February
The online sale of pharmaceuticals in China is increasing in
popularity - the Report indicates that there are 118 companies that
are licensed to provide online pharmaceutical trading services. Of
these licensed companies:
7 are licensed to provide third party pharmaceutical trading
42 are licensed to provide internet pharmaceutical trading
services to other enterprises (B2B); and
69 are licensed to provide pharmaceutical retail services to
individual customers (B2C).
Pursuant to the Notice, new applications for online
pharmaceutical trading licenses were not accepted by SFDA from
February 2012 to October 2012. Since 31 October 2012, however, SFDA
has resumed accepting applications and issuing new online
pharmaceutical trading licenses.
With regards to the results of SFDA's investigations, the
Report notes that SFDA has:
examined and reviewed 118 of the licensed websites that provide
online pharmaceutical information and conduct pharmaceutical
issued 263 rectification notices to companies that were deemed
to be conducting inappropriate online activities;
cancelled 172 Internet Pharmaceutical Information Service
Licenses - 70 of these cancellations also resulted in further
administrative disciplinary action;
closed 82 pharmaceutical-related websites; and
conducted and filed investigations that resulted in 10 separate
In addition to the Report, we note that SFDA has created a
section on its website called: "Warning Notice for Internet
Drug Purchases" ("Notice Column"),
which SFDA uses to identify websites that release misleading
pharmaceutical information and conduct unauthorized pharmaceutical
The release of the Report and the establishment of the Notice
Column indicate SFDA is paying close attention to the increase in
popularity of online pharmaceutical sales. Companies interested in
providing such licensed online services would be well advised to
have adequate plans in place to ensure their proposed online
activities comply with SFDA's requirements.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
What happens if a patient, particularly a mental health patient,.
Some comments from our readers… “The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable” “I often find critical information not available elsewhere” “As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).