Drugs on Etsy?

Does Etsy allow drugs to be sold on the site?

Here is the FDA’s definition of a drug (emphasis added): “The FD&C Act defines drugs, in part, by their intended use, as “articles intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease” and “articles (other than food) intended to affect the structure or any function of the body of man or other animals” [FD&C Act, sec. 201(g)(1)].”

And further:

“How is a product’s intended use established? …Claims stated on the product labeling, in advertising, on the Internet, or in other promotional materials…”

“…if the product is intended for a therapeutic use, such as relieving muscle pain, it’s a drug.”

From a few teething necklace listings  (in part):

“…worn close to skin for natural pain relief.”

“…Succinic acid is a natural pain reliever and anti inflammatory. It will stimulate the thyroid glands to help reduce drooling and soothe red inflamed cheeks…”

“…effective on babies and small children because it simultaneously eases their pain while also having a strong soothing effect on their nervous system…”

And from a few botanical/cosmetic listings:

“…herbal pain reliever…Contains anti-inflammatory and pain relieving plant extracts that helps your body fight inflammation, increase circulation, and numb the pain receptors near the painful area.”

“…pain relieving oil…helps reduce pressure, tension and swelling…”

“…pain relief cream…”

I don’t know if these products cross the line into drug territory… but seems like a very slippery slope.


Baby teething jewelry – isn’t that a choking hazard?


2 thoughts on “Drugs on Etsy?

  1. Unless it contains the disclaimer that the necklace isn’t meant to treat or diagnose a medical condition, I think these could be problematic.

  2. Etsy cracked down on SOME sellers making medical claims late in 2012: https://www.etsy.com/teams/7718/questions/discuss/10732251

    Somewhere in that thread Admin says that adding a disclaimer doesn’t bring items making medical claims into compliance with Etsy’s new (at that time) policy. No items can be described as having healing or pain relieving properties.

    They contacted an unknown number of sellers and had them revise descriptions and/or remove listings. Some were upset that they had to change listings and their competitors did not. Sellers are expected to report medical claims violations now. So of course, there’s still plenty of the stuff on Etsy.

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