Prescription drugs on sale online in China

With China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA)’s recently introduced policy, the Chinese can now potentially purchase their prescription drugs online at Walmart or even Alibaba.com.

Though the final list of available prescription drugs are to be consolidated over the next couple of days, this new policy seems to have sparked a discussion amongst China and the region.

If prescription drugs, on top of generic drugs, were to open up a $161 bil market to online pharmacy operators, hospitals and existing distributors will face major impacts. Some analysts predict that patients will have price incentives to purchase drugs from online retailers who offer discounts up to 10 percent with home delivery services. And although the new policy will allow easier access to the medical needs of its people, the quality of drugs will be questioned. And with an additional distribution platform, “risks of misbranded, adulterated, and counterfeit drugs online” will be posed. Lastly, with a new dimension of competition to the existing local pharmacies and distributors, prices are expected to drop.

Read the original article on the new policy and how the APAC pharma industry’s reaction here

Photo courtesy of Nicomusings.com

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