At a press conference on July 8, a spokesperson for China's State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) said that local authorities in Hangzhou were investigating C2C & B2C e-commerce site Taobao for selling pharmaceuticals online without the necessary license.
Wang Songlin, director of the SFDA's office of inspections, said that any online pharmaceutical sales must be approved by food and drug inspection and management authorities and authorized pursuant to an official "Online Medical Product Sales and Services Permit," and the front page of any website selling medical products must display the website's permit number in a prominent location. Taobao only holds an "Online Medical Product Information Services Permit," meaning it is not authorized to process sales. At present, Wang said, a total of 69 companies are licensed to sell medicine online; 38 of these are licensed to sell to individuals.
Editor's Note: A recent notice on the SFDA website announced that 245 websites selling illegal or fake medicine had been shut down. An additional 40 illegal medicine sites were named in another posting.