The administration, as part of its strategy to stimulate growth, decided Tuesday to allow more than 99 percent of nonprescription drugs to be sold over the Internet, officials said.

The move is aimed at enhancing convenience for consumers and boosting price competition, which could help strengthen the foundations of the pharmaceutical industry, and also at expanding business through the Internet, the officials said.

Various ministers, including Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga and Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Norihisa Tamura, agreed that about 11,400 kinds of over-the-counter drugs should be approved, though some with potentially severe side effects should be left off the list, the officials said.