/No more online medicine sales, Alibaba’s online retailer Tmall says

No more online medicine sales, Alibaba’s online retailer Tmall says

Chinese tech giant Alibaba’s online shopping platform Tmall has stopped its online medicine trading since Monday, after finishing its experimental period for online medicine retailing on third-party platforms.

Tmall’s medicine channel Yao.tmall.com released a notice to its merchants last Saturday, saying the platform had received an order from Hebei Food and Drug Administration and would stop selling medicine online since Monday.

The China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) said in a report last Thursday that it had decided to stop the experimental work of online medicine retailing on third-party platforms, because “the responsibilities of the third-party platforms and the pharmacies were unclear, and the supervision of prescription medicine and medicine quality safety was difficult.”

According to the CFDA, companies accredited to provide online medicine trading services, however, could continue with their business-to-business and business-to-medical institutions medicine trading businesses. Certificated pharmacies could also sell medicine to consumers via the Internet.

The CFDA approved the one-year experimental work for three companies of Hebei province, Guangdong province and Shanghai in 2013. Alibaba acquired the Hebei company in 2014. The three companies have been operating beyond the experimental period.

Yao.tmall.com came online in 2012. The website helps certificated pharmacies sell medical products, including nonprescription drugs, medical devices and contraception products.

According to Alibaba’s Fiscal Year 2016 Results, its annual active buyers on China retail marketplaces increased to 423 million as of May 2016.

(Top photo from Pixabay.com)