Yahoo! Japan Corporation has deleted shopping mall pages when an online store was discovered selling over-the-counter (OTC) or non-prescription drugs that have already expired. The online store is said to have marketed the expired medicines at a discount in late July at the said shopping mall.
Japan does not have any law that prohibits selling expired medicines as common sense tells anyone sensible that these should no longer be sold, which is the practice among licensed pharmacies. The mall pages were still removed by Yahoo! Japan because of violations of company guidelines for ethical sales practices. The Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare has also considered imposing new regulations for online drug sales, including a ban on expired medicines.
According to Yahoo! Japan, they are yet to identify the quantity of drugs that “have passed their expiry dates.” There were several types sold at discounted prices. However, the brands, or at least the generic names, of expired drugs sold have not been identified by the internet company.
The Health Ministry prohibited online sales of particular categories of drugs, but the Supreme Court ruled in January that the ordinance was “illegal and invalid.” Back in June, the Abe administration lifted online sales ban of almost all non-prescription drugs despite opposition from various medical and pharmacist federations. Last month, Amazon Japan began selling OTC drugs online.
[via Japan Times]