WhatsApp sued for blocking accounts of 500 pharmacies – Brazil

WhatsApp became the target of a lawsuit after blocking accounts of 500 manipulation pharmacies. The lawsuit was filed by the National Association of Magistral Pharmacists (Anfarmag), which represents the establishments, and is directed against Facebook, owner of the messaging application.

WhatsApp (image: Pixabay)

The association told the Folha de S.Paulo that pharmacies used WhatsApp Business to send quotes to customers based on medical prescriptions. Anfarmag’s executive director, Marco Fiaschetti, told the newspaper that blockages have become more common in recent days.

The decision, which would have affected small and large pharmacies, was not accompanied by a justification from WhatsApp. According to Fiaschetti, the application reported that the accounts violated its terms of use, but did not detail which rule would have been breached.

Pharmacies claim to have contacted application support, but say they have not received a response. They believe that the blockade happened due to the sale of medicines, something prohibited by the app.

“Do not use WhatsApp to send or request health information if applicable laws limit the distribution of such information to systems that do not meet the requirements necessary to process that health information,” indicate WhatsApp Business’s terms of use.

Anfarmag, however, argues that the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) allows the remote service and sale of medicines. The lawsuit calls for the accounts to be unblocked and highlights that the measure harms consumers.

The application has a number of reasons for removing an account. One of them provides for punishment if a number “receives excessive negative feedback, if it causes damage to WhatsApp or our users, or if it violates or encourages others to violate our terms and policies”.

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