Sale of dermo-cosmetic products on the Internet

February 1, 2013

Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmétique notes the decision of the Paris Court of Appeal, and welcomes the fact that the stated benefits to consumers of its distribution network have been acknowledged.

On 31st January 2013, the Paris Court of Appeal requested that Laboratoires Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmétique (PFDC) authorise the online sale of their products through authorised distributors. At the same time, it fully recognised the merits, validity and consumer interest of the PFDC selective distribution network, emphasising in particular that the actual physical presence of a qualified pharmacist at the sales outlet ‘enables consumers to be offered quality personal advice’. 

Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmetics takes note of the Court of Appeal's decision and will in future approve the online sale of its products by authorised distributors.

PFDC states that the sale of its products on the Internet will take place solely in accordance with the authorisation principles that it has always championed and which have been approved by the Paris Court of Appeal:

  • Conclusion by PFDC of a specific Internet agreement with an approved physical sales outlet;      
  • Twenty-four hour consumer access to online advice given by a qualified pharmacist;  
  • Presentation of PFDC products in a quality Internet environment matching the image and technical complexity of PFDC products.  


Therefore, the criterion of the physical presence of a qualified pharmacist will be maintained and adapted for online sales to guarantee the best advice for consumers, in strict adherence to the requirements of the Paris Court of Appeal.

This decision is part of a process which began in 2006, when the Competition Council requested that all manufacturers in the dermo-cosmetic sector open Internet sales up to their authorised distributors. PFDC remained the only business in its sector to stay true to professional healthcare values, putting in first place the quality of advice given to the consumer. It refused to accept this request from the Competition Council voluntarily, and continued its ban on the sale of its products over the Internet. It was this refusal, which led to the litigation on which the Paris Court of Appeal has just ruled.

Within a context daily demonstrating that health products are not simply ordinary products, the Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmetics Laboratories consider their fight to safeguard access to dermo-cosmetic products to have been fully justified. They will continue to defend the principle that personalised pharmaceutical advice must be made available in order to meet consumers' efficacy and safety expectations; this principle has been completely vindicated by the Paris Court of Appeal.