China to Ban a List of Drugs from Online Sales

by Grace Wang Nov 07, 2022

On Nov. 3, China National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) released the draft of the List of Drugs Banned from Online Sales for public advice and comments. The banned drugs can be divided into two general categories.1

List (Under Consultation) of Drugs Banned from Online Sales in China

Category 1

Vaccines, blood products, anesthetics, psychiatric drugs, toxic drugs for medical use, radioactive drugs, medical precursor chemicals, preparations made and used only in medical institutions, and TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) granules.

Category 2


Injections (except drugs for reducing the glycemic level)


        i. Combination drugs that contain ephedrine;

       ii.  Drugs listed in the Announcement on Enhancing the Administration of Purchase and Sales of Oral Combination Solutions, Compound Liquorice Tablets, and Compound Diphenoxylate Tablets;

      iii. Drugs listed in the Announcement on Enhancing the Administration of Purchase and Sales of Anesthetics and Tramadol Oral Combination Drugs;

      iv.  Dextromethorphan.

Except Chinese patent medicines containing Ephedra sinica.


Anabolic steroids and peptide hormones (except insulins) listed in Stimulant Catalog.


Drugs with high risks:

        i. Digoxin, disopyramide, quinidine, prazosin, procainamide, propafenone, amiodarone, quinine, aminophylline, choline theophyllinate, isoprenaline;

       ii.  Phenytoin sodium, carbamazepine, lamotrigine, chloral hydrate, dabigatran etexilate, warfarin, ticagrelor, cilostazol, primidone, lithium carbonate, isoflurane, sevoflurane, enflurane, desflurane, colchicine;

      iii. Mifepristone, compound mifepristone, cyproterone, carboprost methylate, estradiol, misoprostol, dinoprostone;

      iv. Faropenem, fusidic acid, voriconazole, linezolid, nemonoxacin, posaconazole, cefdinir, itraconazole, levornidazole, cefpodoxime axetil.

BaiPharm's Comment

As China will permit online sales of OTC and prescription drugs nationwide from Dec. 1, 2022, the list of banned drugs would help improve the supervision of sales by specifying the forbidden product groups.

The list manifests China’s stringent attitude towards the online pharmaceutical market, and indicates opportunities for drugs excepted from the banned list. For example, insulins and other drugs for lowering the blood sugar level may benefit from the online market, given the mature e-commerce and about 141 million diabetic patients2 in China.

Grace Wang
ChemLinked Regulatory Analyst
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