Statement on ASOP Global Mission, Members and Funding
The Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP Global) is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. with operations in the U.S., Canada, Europe, India and Asia. Our mission is to address the growing public health threat of illegal online drug sellers through strategic efforts around the globe, concentrating our activities in research, education, Internet commerce company voluntary actions, and policy and advocacy.
ASOP Global provides stakeholders a unified voice to engage relevant governmental administrative agencies and enforcement authorities; raise awareness with policymakers; develop credible data and information; educate health care providers; raise awareness about the role Internet commerce stakeholders (e.g. search engines, social platforms, online marketplaces, domain name registrars), financial transaction entities, and others can play in protecting patient safety online; develop policy solutions and principles for voluntary actions for Internet commerce companies; and collaborate on advocacy efforts internationally with critical partners.
ASOP Global and its members are all united by our shared efforts to make the Internet safer for patients. Our U.S.-based membership includes 30+ members representing nonprofit groups, prescription discount programs, academic institutions, patient organizations, pharmaceutical manufacturers, healthcare providers, pharmacy organizations, shippers, payment processors, and Internet security companies. ASOP Global also has chapters and members in other jurisdictions.
ASOP Global’s Board of Directors illustrates the organization’s diversity, with Directors from USP, APhA, Purdue College of Pharmacy, Merck, LegitScript, RefillWise and a former US Dept. of Commerce official.
We are funded by contributions from all of our members. Our dues structure is tiered to enable all interested parties contribute and play an active role in protecting consumers around the world, ensuring access to safe medications and combating illegal online drug sellers.
ASOP Global’s Position on Drug Importation
ASOP Global’s singular goal is to protect consumers around the world by combatting illegal online drug sellers and steering patients to safe sources of medicine. Drug importation runs counter to that goal.
Demand for convenient, lower-cost medications has created a new economic incentive for criminals here and abroad to manufacture and sell counterfeit and unsafe – if not potentially deadly – drugs. These drugs are often manufactured in unsafe conditions; contain too much, too little, or no active ingredients; and/or may be made using dangerous and sometimes deadly substances, including fentanyl and other poisons.
Both generic and innovator medicines can be faked, ranging from very expensive products for cancer to very inexpensive products for the treatment of pain or management of chronic conditions.
Many online sellers seek to portray themselves as safe and legal vendors, but they may actually be peddling unsafe medicines from dangerous sources, including from wholesalers who import drugs from unknown and foreign countries. While sometimes an illegal online seller may ship legitimate medicine, evidence shows that too often they do not. And that’s the problem; consumers cannot trust what they get from illegal online drug sellers. This puts patients at risk of not getting the quality medicine they need, being injured by impurities or dangerous substances in the medicines, or worse.
Both U.S. Health and Human Services and the US Food and Drug Administration acknowledge that they are unable to guarantee the safety of imported drugs and warn that these medications can pose serious health risks to patients.
For more information, including FAQs, factsheets and info graphics, please visit our public awareness resources section.
ABOUT THE ALLIANCE FOR SAFE ONLINE PHARMACIES
The Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP Global), a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. with activities in U.S., Canada, Europe, Latin America and Asia, is dedicated to protecting consumers around the world, ensuring safe access to medications, and combating illegal online drug sellers.
Elizabeth Harmon, Scott Circle Communications 202-695-8226