Russia allows online sale of OTC drugs

Available languages: RU

The Russian President has signed an Executive Order* authorising the online sale of over-the-counter (OTC) drugs.

The initiative to allow OTC drugs to be sold over the internet has been discussed in the Russian pharmaceutical industry, but never reached the legislative stage. The trigger for the adoption of the Executive Order was the COVID-19 pandemic. The online sale of drugs is yet another measure to combat the spread of coronavirus in Russia. (See here our reports on other measures).

Pharmacies licensed for pharmaceutical activities will have the right to sell online provided they obtain authorisation from the Russian healthcare authority (Roszdravnadzor).

Only OTC drugs will be allowed to be sold online. The procedure for obtaining the authorisation, the requirements for online selling and the rules for delivery will be established by the Russian government.

Until government adopts a relevant Decree further to the Executive Order, the online sale of drugs remains unlawful. Also, for the time being, it is unclear what requirements pharmacies will have to meet to obtain authorisation to sell online and how drugs will be delivered to consumers.

In addition, the Executive Order intends to strengthen control over the circulation of fake, substandard, unregistered and counterfeit drugs. In this regard, administrative and criminal liability for the circulation of such drugs is likely to increase.

We are monitoring the situation and will report on the adoption of any new laws related to the online sale of medicines.

If you have any questions on this eAlert, do not hesitate to contact CMS Russia experts Vsevolod Tyupa and Alexey Shadrin or your regular contact at CMS Russia.

* In Russian