Medical or health-related equipment may not be sold online, the Yilan County Government’s bureau of health reminded the public yesterday, in light of 24 violations of the Pharmaceutical Act (藥事法) being reported within a year in the county.
According to Article 27 of the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act, any seller of medical equipment must have a pharmaceutical permit issued by the health authority in that municipality, city or county. Violation is punishable by fines of between NT$30,000 and NT$150,000.
What may seem to be everyday commodities may actually fall into the category of medical or pharmaceutical equipment, the bureau said.
For example, it said that contact lenses — by far the most common product sold online — contact lens cleaning solution, Korean red ginseng, pain relief patches, band-aids, cleaning solutions for false teeth, ear thermometers and pregnancy tests are all considered medical and pharmaceutical equipment under the act, the bureau said.
The regulations have been established to prevent the purchase of medical and pharmaceutical merchandise of unknown origin, it added.
Twenty-four violations of the act have been detected online so far this year in Yilan, the bureau said, adding that more than half of the perpetrators were college students, who tend to favor online platforms for buying and selling things.
People who have been fined often say that they were not aware their actions were illegal, saying they had put the items up for sale because throwing them away would be wasteful.
In response, the bureau said that it was not able to do anything about the fines because the actions violated the law, but it added that it would be going to schools in the area to promote awareness of the law.
Citizens should avoid purchasing or taking drugs if they are not sure of their origins to avoid wasting their money or damaging their health, the bureau said, adding that citizens should report violations by calling the bureau.