The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has ordered online shopping sites Shopee and Lazada Philippines to “cease and desist” from selling drug products online until they have secured “the appropriate license to operate from the FDA.”
If unheeded, both sites could be cited for direct or indirect contempt and other administrative sanctions, the FDA said in a statement.
The order came after the Department of Health summoned Shopee and Lazada officials and a pharmacy in Iloilo, following reports that they had been selling medicines online without securing an FDA permit.
Online selling of medicines is currently not allowed under Philippine laws and regulations.
“The FDA is adamant in implementing the law to ensure the safety of the general public. The continuous online selling of any of these drug products will place their lives in danger and at risk,” the regulatory agency said.
As of now, the FDA allows online ordering services only for existing FDA-licensed pharmacies with actual physical stores and addresses.
The agency is particularly wary of counterfeit or improperly stored medicine, which could cause serious side effects and health problems among unsuspecting customers.
Concerned citizens can contact the FDA for any unauthorized sale or distribution of drug products via [email protected] or through the online reporting facility, eREPORT, at www.fda.gov.ph/ereport.
They may also call the Center for Drug Regulation and Research at telephone number (02) 809-5596.
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