ASOP Global Applauds the Introduction of the Platform Accountability and Consumer Transparency Act
WASHINGTON – June 24, 2020 – The Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP Global) issued the following statement in response to today’s announcement by Senate Commerce, Science, Transportation Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation and the Internet Chairman John Thune (R-SD) and Ranking Member Brian Schatz (D-HI) regarding the introduction of the Platform Accountability and Consumer Transparency Act (PACT Act).
ASOP Global commends Senators Thune and Schatz for their ongoing leadership to address the dual public health crises of illegal online prescription drug sales and substance use disorder in the United States. For far too long, online platforms have made it easy to find illegal sources of prescription and illicit drugs online with little to no recourse for American consumers. The PACT Act marks significant progress towards ensuring that the Internet is safer for all and is an important step toward curbing access to deadly opioids and other illegal narcotics online. We congratulate and cheer the Senators on this bipartisan approach to thwarting illegal activity online and reducing significant patient harms at the hands of criminals who act solely for profit.
In the U.S., the Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act of 2008 (Ryan Haight Act) expressly prohibits the sale and purchase of controlled substances on the Internet without a valid prescription. Internet pharmacies that provide controlled substances consistent with the Ryan Haight Act must be registered with DEA and, amongst other things, must clearly disclose their location, license and names of pharmacy professionals on their websites. At any given time, there are roughly 35,000 active online ‘pharmacies’ of which an estimated 96% are operating illegally. Despite the Ryan Haight Act, these websites are still placing American lives at risk by selling prescription medicines without a prescription, operating without a valid pharmacy license, or peddling counterfeit or otherwise illegal drugs and controlled substances. In the U.S., counterfeit drugs for sale online encompass every therapeutic area – from oncologic products to antibiotics, lifestyle medications and opioids. Substandard and counterfeit versions of these products often include dangerous heavy metals, poisons, toxins, salt or sugar pills, and more recently, fentanyl. The illegal sale of counterfeit drugs online is immensely lucrative, pervasive and an insidious problem causing significant harms to Americans.
ASOP Global looks forward to remaining a resource to Congress as they work diligently to curb the illegal sale of controlled substances and other prescription drugs online appearing via search results, social media and e-commerce sites. We strongly support these efforts to demand more accountability and transparency from the technology industry as it is critical to protect Americans’ health and safety online.
ABOUT ASOP GLOBAL
The Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP Global), a 501(c)(4) nonprofit 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.