China FDA to reverse course, allow online Rx drug sales
- Currently, 70% of prescription drug sales are handled through hospitals, but the China FDA (CFDA) is actively working on a policy that would allow drug manufacturers to sell medications online—truly a game-changer.
- One of the challenges with crafting this policy is the widespread concern among Chinese consumers about the quality of drugs sold online.
- Analysts predict that the availability of drugs through online channels could bring down overall prices by 10%.
Counterfeit drugs have been a major problem in the Chinese pharmaceutical marketplace—and this concern may be a barrier to quickly implementing a policy to allow online retail drug sales.
Nonetheless, platform operators with experience, such as Alibaba.com and JD.com, are being considered as appropriate launching venues for online sales. In addition, a business-to-business strategy may be the first part of the process, followed by opening up e-sales for direct-to-consumer business.
- FiercePharma China FDA plans to lift ban on online drug sales