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薬のネット販売 安全性と利便性両立が必要だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 14, 2013
Regulation of online drug sales should promote safety, convenience
薬のネット販売 安全性と利便性両立が必要だ(6月13日付・読売社説)

We believe the government’s decision regarding the online sales of nonprescription drugs must please people who have limited means of transportation, such as the disabled and the elderly, and those who live on remote islands or in mountainous areas that lack pharmacies.
 移動手段が限られる障害者や高齢者、薬局のない離島・山間部の住民にとって朗報だろう。

The government will mandate in its growth strategy, which is scheduled to be approved by the Cabinet on Friday, the lifting of a ban on online sales of nonprescription drugs, with certain exceptions.
 政府は14日に閣議決定する成長戦略に、市販薬のインターネット販売の原則解禁を明記する方針だ。

Under the plan, regulations on online sales of nonprescription drugs will be significantly relaxed. Currently, only a limited number of drugs are allowed to be sold online, but consumers will soon be able to purchase most of the 11,400 existing nonprescription drugs through the Internet.
 一部の薬だけだったネット販売の規制が大幅に緩和される。市販薬約1万1400品目のほとんどがネットで買えるようになる。

Although the economic impact of the move remains uncertain, the government expects the plan will be a symbol of its regulatory reform efforts.
 ネット解禁による経済波及効果は未知数だが、規制改革の象徴的な意味合いがある。

The lifting of the ban was prompted by a Supreme Court ruling in January. The top court concluded that the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry’s ordinance banning online sales of drugs--except for a few drugs said to have a low risk of side effects--was “illegal and invalid.”
 今回の規制緩和の契機になったのが、今年1月の最高裁判決だ。副作用の恐れが低いとされる一部の薬を除き、ネット販売を禁止してきた厚生労働省の省令について「違法で無効」と判断した。

The top court said the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law contained no clear indication that nonprescription drugs must be sold face-to-face. Currently, nonprescription drugs are required to be sold at drugstores through pharmacists or registered vendors.
 薬事法からは、薬剤師らによる対面販売を義務付けることは読み取れないとの理由だった。

The growth strategy said the safety of drugs should be discussed rationally and objectively, regardless of whether drugs are sold online or face-to-face, an apparent reflection of the judicial decision. We believe it is absolutely necessary to get rid of excessive regulations.
 成長戦略が、薬の安全性は「ネット販売か対面販売かを問わず合理的、客観的に検討すべきだ」と指摘するのは、こうした司法判断を踏まえた見解だろう。過剰な規制を取り払うのは当然だ。

There has been research suggesting that the quality of communication conducted via the Internet is not necessarily inferior to that of face-to-face communication.
 インターネットによる情報伝達が対面より劣るとは言えない、との研究報告もある。

Some regulations necessary

However, we should not overlook a problem that emerged after the January ruling. Many companies have entered the online drug sales market since then. As a result, the ban on online sales has in effect dissolved along with the restrictions.
 問題は、最高裁判決の後、市販薬のネット販売に多数の業者が参入し、実質的に全面解禁状態になっていることである。

The possibility of nonprescription drugs causing serious side effects is extremely low. However, 24 cases of death resulting from nonprescription medication have been reported in the five years since fiscal 2007.
 市販薬による重い副作用が起きる確率は極めて低いものの、2007年度から5年間で計24件の死亡例が報告されている。

If massive amounts of nonprescription drugs are sold carelessly over the Internet, the risk of accidents will rise. Of course, the same can be said of over-the-counter sales, but we believe a certain amount of regulation of online sales of such drugs is necessary.
 安易に大量販売が行われれば、事故の危険性も高まる。対面販売でも事情は同じだが、一定のルールは必要ではないか。

It was thus appropriate for the government to keep some exceptions to the ban on online sales of nonprescription drugs in tact. Due to safety considerations, the government said experts will further discuss the handling of 25 drugs, such as Loxonin, a prescription antipyretic-analgesic drug that was recently recategorized as a nonprescription drug.
 政府がネット販売解禁にあたって、例外を設けたのは理解できる。安全性を確保するため、医師の処方薬から市販薬に転用されて間もない解熱鎮痛剤「ロキソニン」など25品目については、さらに専門家で扱いを検討するとした。

Learn from foreign examples

The government said it will draw a conclusion on such drugs by the end of autumn, and aims to build a framework for them that is similar to the system for general nonprescription drugs, but which also promotes their careful sale and use. We want to remind the government of the importance of establishing a system that does not confuse consumers.
 「処方薬に準じた形での慎重な販売や使用を促すための仕組み」について、秋ごろまでに結論を出すという。消費者に混乱を招かないよう配慮してもらいたい。

It seems that counterfeit drugs are being sold through some websites that sell privately imported drugs. The government must work out measures to effectively monitor such malicious businesses and eradicate them.
 薬を海外から個人輸入するネット販売では、偽造薬も出回っている。こうした悪質業者をいかに監視・排除するかである。

Britain is a good example to follow. The British government has already lifted its ban on online medicine sales. Business entities there are required to register with a pharmacist organization and obtain a mark of certification.
 例えば、薬品のネット販売を解禁している英国は、業者が薬剤師の団体に登録し、認証マークを取得することを求めている。

The government must make wholehearted efforts so that the safety and convenience of consumers will be achieved simultaneously.
 政府は消費者の安全性と利便性の両立を図るために、知恵を絞らねばならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 13, 2013)
(2013年6月13日01時27分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2013-06-15 08:17 | 英字新聞

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