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Table 1 Recent legislative/non-legislative changes related to OTCs in Japan

From: Key information providers, channels, and characteristics of Japanese consumers’ informed choices of over-the-counter medications

Year Recent legislative/non-legislative changes related to OTCs in Japan
2002 An online chain OTC pharmacy initiated online sales of OTCs
2009 OTCs were classified into 3 categories, according to their risk levels: first-class OTCs (especially high risk), second-class OTCs (relatively high risk), and third-class OTCs (others) The online sale of first- and second-class OTCs was prohibited The registered distributor qualification system was enforced Two online chain OTC pharmacies filed a lawsuit against the government, arguing for the ban on online OTC sales to be lifted
2013 The Supreme Court ruled that the ban on online OTC sales was illegal and, thus, invalid
2014 A new risk category (OTCs requiring guidance [post-marketing safety evaluation is incomplete]) was added to the OTC classification The online sale of all OTCs, except those requiring guidance, was officially permitted
  1. OTC over-the-counter medication