5 min article

Medical drugs, devices, and healthcare policy

Protecting the safety of our members is our absolute top priority. Our policy for the sale of medical drugs, devices and healthcare products aims to make sure that any listings in this category meet strict health and safety regulations.

Because medicines, medical devices and healthcare products are regulated, it's important to check that your items are allowed to be sold before listing them on eBay.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Can I sell prescription medication on eBay?

You can't list any drugs, medications or medical devices that are available on prescription from a doctor, dentist, optometrist or veterinarian.

To find out the status of a medication before listing, check the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tips for buying drugs online - opens in new window or tab website.

Can I sell over-the-counter medical items?

If you're selling over-the-counter items, you need to make sure they're supplied in their original packaging and delivered to buyers before the item's expiration date.

Most new medical devices that don't require a prescription or supervision from a licensed practitioner can be listed, as well as some used devices, providing they are properly sanitized.

Can I use personal testimonials from people who have used my product?

Yes, but you can't claim that the results will be the same for everyone.

You also can't claim your product will have the same effect as a prescription or controlled drug and you can't describe your product as a disease cure or suggest it will provide unsubstantiated health benefits.

When listing a medicine, medical device or healthcare product, sellers may only refer to the specific details that are included in the Orange Book: Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations - opens in new window or tab for that specific product.

Read our full policy

Medicine, medical devices and healthcare products policy overview

We don't allow sellers to list any drugs or medications that require a prescription from a licensed practitioner (such as a doctor, dentist, optometrist, or veterinarian). We also don't allow the sale of most prescription medical devices.

We do allow the sale of professional medical devices to authorized buyers, as long as the seller carefully follows the requirements in our guidelines.

Most over-the-counter (OTC) items are allowed, as long as their listings don't mention or compare them to prescription drugs. Injectable substances are never allowed, even if they're available over the counter.

Some drugs that don't require a prescription are restricted in certain forms, or when they're not properly packaged, labeled, or described.

Make sure your listing follows these guidelines. If it doesn't, it may be removed, and you may be subject to a range of other actions, including limits of your buying and selling privileges and suspension of your account.

What are the guidelines?

Prescription and over-the-counter drugs

Allowed Allowed

Most over-the-counter (OTC) products, including:

  • Allergy medications that don't contain pseudoephedrine
  • Antacids (see the restriction on non-prescription strength OTC medications below)
  • Nicotine gums and patches
  • Pain relievers
  • Vitamins
 
Restricted Restricted
  • Listings for ephedra-free products must state that the item doesn't contain any ephedra. The listing needs to include photos that show that the item is ephedra-free.
  • Over-the-counter medications that contain non-prescription strengths of prescription drugs can be listed, but the concentration of the prescription drug needs to be mentioned in the listing. For example, omeprazole (a prescription drug) can be listed, as long as it's clear that it's the 20 mg version.
  • Flea control products (such as Program, Advantage, and Top Spot) must be sealed in their original packaging.
  • Heartworm medicines for animals (such as Sentinel, Revolution, Heartgard, and Interceptor) can only contain non-prescription forms of ivermectin, and the listings must include the NADA or ANADA - opens in new window or tab number.
  • Descriptions of herbal and holistic remedies and other items can't compare the products to prescription drugs, imply any non-FDA-approved treatments, or be marketed as having the same results as a prescription drug.
 
Not allowed Not allowed

Any substance the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines as requiring a prescription, including:

  • Allergy medicines
  • Contraceptives, including implantable devices
  • Ephedrine in any form or combination
  • Injectable substances, including vitamins, whether for humans or animals
  • Insulin in all forms, including non-prescription
  • Nicotine inhalers (these require a prescription in the US)
  • Pseudoephedrine in any form or combination
  • Items that may not require a prescription, but are only available for sale through a licensed physician
  • Products containing ephedra or ma huang

Refer to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tips for buying drugs online - opens in new window or tab to be sure you aren't selling or buying prescription drugs or other substances in forms we don't allow.

The FDA maintains the Orange Book: Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations - opens in new window or tab , where you can search for prescription drugs and over-the-counter products by either brand name or active ingredient.

The FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine maintains the Green Book - opens in new window or tab where you can find information about drugs for animals.

Remember, you can't list any prescription drug mentioned in the Orange Book - opens in new window or tab or Green Book - opens in new window or tab.

 

Healthcare items

Before selling healthcare or hygiene-related products, be sure to review the relevant information on the FDA website - opens in new window or tab .

 
Allowed Allowed
  • Unexpired personal hygiene products
  • New, unopened personal hygiene and cosmetic applicators
 
RestrictedRestricted
  • Over-the-counter (OTC) vitamins can be listed as long as:
    • The packaging is intact and the item hasn't been tampered with
    • The item can be delivered to the buyer before the expiration date
    • The item has been stored safely according to storage directions on the item's packaging
  • All healthcare and personal hygiene items must be delivered to buyers before the clearly marked expiration or "use by" date. All listings for these items are required to show the expiration date in the listing.
 
Not allowed Not allowed
 

Describing drugs and drug-like substances

Sellers may not claim any health benefits from legal substances for which the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn't approved them.

 
Restricted Restricted
  • Personal testimonials are allowed (for example, "I used this, and it reduced my back pain"). However, sellers can't guarantee that the results will be the same for everyone.
  • Claiming or suggesting that muscle-building supplements have the same effect as steroids
 
Not allowed Not allowed
  • Claiming that an herbal product or medication will produce the same results or have the same effect as a prescription or controlled drug
  • Claiming that stamina products work like Viagra or other erectile dysfunction medications
  • Making a claim that an item can cure an ailment or a disease when the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) hasn't approved such claims
 

Medical devices

Allowed Allowed
  • Over-the-counter (OTC) medical devices
  • Nasal pillows only (without accessories that effectively make the item a medical mask)
 
Restricted Restricted
  • Medical devices that require government authorization for distribution to third parties are allowed, as long as the seller meets the requirements specified in the Additional Information section below.
  • Vintage or collectible medical devices that are not intended for use are allowed, but the listing must make it clear that the item is vintage and not for use.
  • Listings for hearing aids need to meet the requirements below.
  • Software for reporting or recording how airway pressure machines are functioning is allowed, as long as the software can't make adjustments to the machine.
  • Disposable syringes can be listed, but needles can't be included in the same listing or in a separate listing from the same seller.
 
Not allowed Not allowed

Many medical devices that require a prescription aren't allowed, for example:

  • Contact lenses (prescription or non-prescription)
  • Prescription eyewear* (vintage eyeglasses sold for collectible purposes are allowed)
  • Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) units and their accessories that require a prescription
  • Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulators (TENS) machines and their accessories that require a prescription
  • Oxygen concentrators, oxygen compressors, oxygen conservers and their accessories that require a prescription
  • Defibrillators that aren't approved for over-the-counter sale and that require a prescription
  • Pulse oximeters that require a prescription
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure (BiPAP) devices, and Variable Positive Airway Pressure (VPAP) devices as these devices require a prescription. Over the counter (OTC) versions of these devices are allowed.
  • CPAP, BiPAP or VPAP accessories that require a prescription, such as masks, nasal pillow systems, flow generators, humidifiers, or head gear with a mask
  • Any items that can be used to adjust airway pressure machines, including tools and software
  • Implantable devices, such as pacemakers, heart valves, vascular grafts, ventricular bypass devices, and implantable infusion pumps.
  • Complete disposable syringes with needles.
* At our discretion we may allow sales of these items in designated categories by preapproved sellers.
 

Additional information

Medical devices requiring government authorization

Sellers listing medical devices that require government authorization to distribute to third parties must take all the steps outlined below to ensure that they are sold only to medical professionals who are authorized by law to purchase them:

  1. The items can only be listed in the following subcategories of the Business & Industrial > Healthcare, Lab & Life Science category:
    • Dental
    • Imaging and Aesthetics Equipment
    • Medical Equipment
    • Medical Instruments
    • Medical, Specialty
    • Medical Supplies & Disposables
    • Other Healthcare, Life Science
    • Wholesale Lots
    • Imaging and Aesthetic Supplies
  1. The following information must be included in the item description:
    • The seller's name, city, state, and telephone number;
    • The seller's business name, if applicable
    • The following text:

      "The sale of this item may be subject to regulation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and state and local regulatory agencies. If so, do not bid on this item unless you are an authorized purchaser. If the item is subject to FDA regulation, I will verify your status as an authorized purchaser of this item before shipping of the item."

    • A statement explaining that the item has been cleaned and handled in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. (See additional cleaning and handling instructions below.)
  2. We recommend copying and pasting this disclaimer into your item description. This text must be the same size as the other text in the item description.
  3. Sellers must clean and handle all medical devices in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions before shipping. Sellers can't list any medical device that has been altered in any way that significantly changes the product's performance or safety specifications. All items must be delivered to buyers prior to a clearly marked expiration or "use by" date.
  4. Sellers must clearly inform potential buyers, in the item description, if the device has been opened or used.

Sellers who have questions about legal obligations regarding sales of medical devices should consult with the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health by phone at 800-638-2041, or by email at dsmica@cdrh.fda.gov.

In addition, members should review the product manufacturer's website before listing or buying any used medical device to obtain the latest information about any health or safety issues relating to that product.

Hearing aids

While hearing aids don't require a prescription, the law requires all listings of hearing aids must include the following disclaimer:

"According to the FDA, it is in your best health interest to obtain a professional medical evaluation before purchasing a hearing aid and you are encouraged to do so before bidding on this item. If you choose to not obtain a medical evaluation before purchasing this item, I am required by law to provide to you and obtain from you a signed written waiver of the medical evaluation, and I am required to provide to you a copy of the User Instruction Brochure for a hearing aid, review the contents of that brochure with you, and afford you time to read the brochure. You must provide to me either a signed statement from a physician or a signed waiver before I will deliver this item to you. Upon your request, I will also provide to you a copy of the User Instructional Brochure for the hearing aid or the name and address of the manufacturer or distributor from whom a User Instructional Brochure for the hearing aid can be obtained."

Your listing needs to contain the entire FDA statement as it appears above. We recommend copying and pasting this disclaimer into your item description. Be sure to use the same font size as the rest of your description. The statement must be included even if the item in the listing:

  • Is non-prescription
  • Is antique
  • Doesn't work

Why does eBay have this policy?

To protect the safety of our members, and to follow the law, we restrict the kinds of medical devices, drugs, and healthcare items that can be listed on our site.

 
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