PSM released the folllowing statement on June 12, 2020:
PSM applauds pilot program to curb domain names of online scammers
Targeting illegal opioids an important first step, fake COVID-19 treatments and counterfeit prescription medicines should follow quickly
The Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM) applauds the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) for their new pilot program established this week to curb unapproved opioids illegally available online by potentially suspending or blocking offending domain names.
The pilot program is a collaboration between the FDA, three participating internet registries (Neustar, Verisign and Public Interest Registry) and NTIA to target criminals using website domain names featuring illicit opioids for sale. Under the pilot program, if a website operator whose site features illicit opioids for sale does not respond adequately to an FDA warning letter within the appropriate time frame, the FDA will alert the three participating internet registries.
The registries will then review the FDA’s notification and determine whether to take further action against the website operator. This could include domain name suspensions or blocks. NTIA will be responsible for partnering with the three registries and working with the FDA to determine the impact of the pilot program.
PSM believes this is an important step in combating online counterfeit opioid sales, but it may not go far enough. For example, the pilot program doesn’t recommend action against illegal online sales of other prescription medicine, fake COVID-19 treatments, or counterfeit medical devices.
We are encouraged by the FDA’s and NTIA’s pilot and the collaboration and cooperation of the three internet registries in the study. We continue to stress that more work needs to be done to substantially address the issue. The illegal online sales of any counterfeit prescription medication, medical device, or medical supplies pose a significant threat to the American public. PSM urges the FDA and NTIA, as well as internet registries, to expand this program to encompass all illegal online drug and device sales at the cessation of the 120-day pilot program for the safety and well-being of American consumers.
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For nearly two decades, PSM has been committed to educating the public on the dangers of counterfeit medicines and medical supplies, educating the public on how to purchase medicines safely online and raising public awareness of medical drug and supply scams and frauds particularly online. Learn more at www.safemedicines.org or our YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/SafeMedicines