Rakuten Wins as Japan Court Rules Against Ban on Internet Drug Sales

Rakuten Inc. unit Kenko.com Inc., an online retailer that quadrupled in Tokyo trading in the past 30 days, won a lawsuit seeking the Japanese government’s withdrawal of a ban on selling over-the-counter drugs online.

The Supreme Court in Tokyo today rejected an appeal by the government, allowing resumption of Internet sales of items including cold remedies, pregnancy tests and laxatives.

The ruling permits online sales of two categories of drugs accounting for about 67 percent of all non-prescription purchases in a country where such medicines are sold off-line only by specially licensed retailers. The Japan Pharmaceutical Association, representing about 100,000 licensed pharmacists, had opposed online sales, saying they increased risks that users would experience side-effects.

Read the rest of the story: Japan’s Court Rules Against Ban on Internet Drug Sales.