The Asian Voice

Online med-selling should not be used for drug dealing: China Daily columnist

The writer says that the online selling of psychotropic drugs and the institutional loopholes that make the business possible must be plugged.

As long as the psychotropic medicines traded illegally meet the national standards for drugs, those engaged in the business are drug traffickers that must be dealt with strictly, says the writer.
As long as the psychotropic medicines traded illegally meet the national standards for drugs, those engaged in the business are drug traffickers that must be dealt with strictly, says the writer.PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Reporters of Thepaper.cn found that some psychotropic medicines that should only be prescribed by doctors and purchased from hospitals are being sold on e-commerce platforms under fake names such as "second-hand plastic roadblocks".

These medicines which put users into a deep coma lasting four to six hours are addictive, and their sale is proscribed by law.

Selling them on the internet is nothing but a new form of illicit drug trafficking that must be cracked down with no mercy.

Especially as these kinds of medicines have appeared in a number of cases involving sex abuse and robbery the public security departments have exposed recently.

The medicine, market, internet and logistics administrative departments need to strengthen their cooperation to combat the online selling of these drugs and the institutional loopholes that make the business possible must be plugged.

Psychotropic drugs are strictly controlled by Chinese law, and the law clearly prohibits the selling of psychotropic drugs online.

As long as the psychotropic medicines traded illegally meet the national standards for drugs, those engaged in the business are drug traffickers that must be dealt with strictly according to the law.

Since many of those selling the drugs online pretend to be sick and go to the hospital to cheat the doctors into prescribing these medicines, the country should speed up the development of an overdue online electronic prescription system, so as to help track the flow of such psychotropic drugs and prevent large-scale fraudulent prescribing of them.

The scale of the online transactions indicates it is possible that some doctors and hospitals might be profiting by being a stable source of the drugs.

The e-commerce platforms and logistics companies profiting from these deals must also be held accountable for their dereliction of duties as they are obliged to ensure they are not being taken advantage of by drug traffickers.

The judicial organs need to popularise the legal knowledge of the nature of the illegal trade of the psychotropic medicines, and raise people's awareness of the harm they can do. The anti-drug campaigns brook no dead angles.

  • The writer is a columnist with the paper. China Daily is a member of The Straits Times media partner Asia News Network, an alliance of 23 news media organisations.