Prescription and over-the-counter drugs on the shelves of a pharmacy in Bekasi, West Java. (Antara Photo/Risky Andrianto)

Tokopedia, Bukalapak Stamp Down on Sales of Illegal Prescription and Over-the-Counter Drugs


NOVEMBER 20, 2019

Jakarta. Indonesia's e-commerce platforms voiced their support on Wednesday for a government effort to restrict the spread of illegal and sub-standard prescription and over-the-counter drugs often found on many online sellers' catalogs.

The National Drug and Food Control Agency (BPOM) last month reiterated its commitment to implement the government's National Action on the Eradication of Illegal Drugs and Drug Abuse (POIPO National Action) introduced way back in October 2017.

The commitment should be manifested in three strategic measures according to the World Health Organization (WHO): prevention, detection or control and response or action.

Online marketplaces have become an important battleground in the fight against the illegal sales of prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

Tokopedia, one of Indonesia's largest online marketplaces, said it had taken measures to stop the circulation, delivery, promotion or sales of the illegal and sub-standard drugs – and also food products – on their platform.

"We monitor the products being sold on our platform periodically and we will always take down products that violate our regulations or Indonesian laws," Tokopedia's vice president of public policy and government relations Astri Wahyuni said in a statement to the Jakarta Globe.

She declined to say how many Tokopedia sellers had been blocked for violating the company's rules.

"The most important thing is consumer protection. Tokopedia and the BPOM have agreed to keep educating customers to be smarter and more careful when they buy products online. Customer literacy is at the forefront of the fight against these illegal drugs and food products," Astri said.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson from Bukalapak, another major Indonesian e-commerce platform, said customers play a vital role in helping the company to stem the proliferation of illegal products on its site. 

"Users can help by reporting the illegal products they find on our site. We have regulations that forbid users from selling these products. If we found one, we will stamp it out," Bukalapak spokesperson Intan Wibisono said.