Online ecom platform medicine sales halted in Philippines
The Philippines' Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has prohibited two major online ecommerce shopping platforms Shopee Philippines and Lazada Philippines to cease sales of medicines. The platforms do not have licenses to sell pharmaceutical products. The FDA is part of the Department of Health, and acted to stop the placing of "the lives of the general public in danger...".
The FDA served each of the two companies with a "summons with preventive measure order" directing each one "under pain of direct or indirect contempt and/or other administrative sanctions" to stop selling and offering pharmaceutical products on their online platforms.
It is possible for pharma products to be bought online provided that the seller has an FDA-licensed pharmacy with a physical address, with the online ordering services as an additional activity of the licensed pharmacy. An example is Watsons, through its online store: https://www.watsons.com.ph/health-&-rx/lc/060000
Online marketplaces will not qualify as they are not licensed pharmacies, however sales of medicines through platforms has been growing in recent years. The risk of fakes being sold online was therefore significant.