ASOP Global Endorses the Domain Reform for Unlawful druG Sellers (DRUGS) Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. – December 16, 2021 – The Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP Global) applauds Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) for introducing the bipartisan S.3399 Domain Reform for Unlawful druG Sellers Act (DRUGS Act) yesterday. The DRUGS Act will help make the internet safer by holding domain name registrars and registries accountable for the illegal actions of individual domain names that peddle dangerous, illegal drugs to consumers online. This essential legislation will require registrars and registries to take down websites that openly and illegally offer drugs such as prescription medicines, controlled substances, and unapproved medical products. A companion, bipartisan bill is expected to be introduced soon in the House.
With more consumers going online coupled with the increase in demand for COVID treatments, bad actors have capitalized on the opportunity to sell counterfeit, illegally misbranded, and sometimes deadly drugs online. According to a 2021 national survey conducted by the ASOP Foundation, nearly half of Americans falsely believe that the FDA or state regulators have approved all websites offering health care services online. Sens. Rubio and Klobuchar recognize that this misconception gives consumers a false sense of security when purchasing medicine online. Their bill would give FDA, state regulators, and other trusted notifiers new tools to protect Americans from illegal online drug sellers.
ASOP Global endorses the bill and strongly urges Congress to pass the DRUGS Act. This legislation builds off the success of an FDA and Department of Commerce “Trusted Notifier Pilot,” which involved identifying and suspending domain names used for illegal opioid sales. The DRUGS Act requires that, upon notification from a trusted notifier, a registrar or registry must lock the offending domain name within 24 hours and suspend it within seven days, effectively stopping the domain name from continuing to sell drugs to innocent American consumers.
“Today, consumers are going online to buy medicine and other products more than ever before. Criminals know this and use domain names to feign legitimate pharmacy operations, taking advantage of patients’ desire for medication access and cost-savings. We can and must do more to protect patient safety online.” said Libby Baney, Partner at Faegre Drinker LLP and Senior Advisor to ASOP Global. “The introduction of the DRUGS Act marks a major milestone towards a safer internet for patients.”
The Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP Global), a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. with activities in the 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.