By Analou De Vera
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has ordered online retail platforms Shopee Philippines and Lazada Philippines to stop selling drug products.
The FDA on Friday said that it served “summons with preventive measure order” to both online shopping platforms directing them “under pain of direct or indirect contempt and/or other administrative sanctions, to immediately cease and desist from further online selling and offering for sale drug products until it has secured the appropriate license to operate” from the agency.
“The FDA is adamant in implementing the law in order to ensure the safety of the Filipino people and the general public as a whole,” it added.
This move of the FDA is in relation to its recent advisory that warns the public on the significant risk associated with the online selling of medicines, citing that there is no guarantee that it is genuine.
“Buying medicines over the internet can pose serious health risks,” the agency stated in its Advisory No. 2019-154.
“A medicine bought online may contain no active ingredient; too much or too little of active ingredients which may result to your condition not being treated correctly. Also, these medicines may not be stored correctly in accordance with its appropriate storage conditions,” it added.
In the same advisory, the FDA said that online selling of medicines is not allowed in the Philippines pursuant to existing laws, rules and regulations.
“FDA only allows online ordering services provided that the seller has an existing FDA-licensed Pharmacy or Botika with physical address. Online ordering services are additional activities of a Pharmacy or Botika subject for approval of FDA,” it said.
The agency urged the public to report the unauthorized sale of drug products to firstname.lastname@example.org; or at www.fda.gov.ph/ereport. The public may also contact its telephone number (02) 809-5596.