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China Reportedly Set to Suspend All Online Sales of Medicines

(CRI Online)    15:58, June 02, 2016

It's reported by Beijing-based Caixin that China is set to suspend all online retails of medicine amid a lack of proper government regulation.

The report comes two days after Alibaba told all vendors on its online shopping platform, Tmall, to stop sales of medicines after receiving a governmental order.

Tmall says it is not the only one to be targeted by the order from the China Food and Drug Administration.

All other online shopping platforms are expected to receive the same instruction within days from now.

The Food and Drug Administration has reportedly said it is working intensely to hammer out a more proper regulation.

The ban comes as the government promotes retail sales of over-the-counter medicine in efforts to solve issues such as skyrocketing pharmaceutical prices and snarling hospital queues.

Sales of medicine in China had been dominated by public hospitals.

The Chinese government decided to allow online platforms to run medicine businesses in 2013.

Currently there are three online platforms which have gained government approval.

However, all their medicine businesses are still on a trial basis.

Sales of medicine account for around 80 percent of China's healthcare market.

Estimates by international financial company UBS suggests that by allowing online platforms to sell medicines, the size of China's online healthcare market has the potential to expand to 3 trillion yuan, or more than 450 billion US dollars.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Yuan Can,Bianji)

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