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Local pharmacies get licenses to sell online

ONLY 11 Websites have been approved to sell over-the-counter medicine online on China's mainland, including three online pharmacies in Shanghai, officials from Shanghai's Food and Drug Administration said yesterday.

They made the announcement a day after a blacklist of 25 unlicensed online druggists was published on the Website of the State Food and Drug Administration - this year's first warning about buying medicine online.

The names, URLs and the "speciality" of each unlicensed site can be found on the SFDA Website ( Most of the unlicensed sites sell medicines treating chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, skin problems, sexually transmitted diseases and erectile dysfunction.

Consumers were warned against buying drugs from sites including the International Cardiovascular Disease Research Academy ( and the Diabetes Center of the China International Biological Medicine Institute (

The drug authorities have sent the blacklist to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, which said it was investigating. The unlicensed sites may be shut down.

Officials warned locals only to visit legal Websites and to consult doctors or pharmacists before buying medicines online.

"No prescribed medicines are allowed to be sold online," said Du Bing, an official from the SFDA. "We know people are selling fake Viagra and other drugs online and we'll launch a crackdown in the near future."

The three local legal online pharmacies can be found at:, and www. only received a license at the end of last year and hasn't launched its Website yet.

"We are setting up a special department to run and manage it," said Xu Xianggan, a Huashi official. "Online and telephone consultation with licensed pharmacists will be available for the site's users."

Some of the blacklisted sites were inaccessible last night. However, some were still in operation.


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