News Releases

ASOP Global Participates in Third FDA Online Opioid Summit

Washington, DC September 9, 2021 – Today, the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP Global) will participate in the third U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Online Opioid Summit. The Summit provides a critical forum for experts from academia, government, private, and nonprofit sectors to collaborate on ways to detect and reduce the availability of opioids on the internet.

In 2020 alone, there were 93,331 drug overdose deaths in the U.S., at least 60% of which involved an opioid. And despite efforts to curb online opioid distribution, there continues to be an abundance of websites and online platforms that make it far too easy for Americans to purchase these dangerous products. At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased Americans’ interest in buying medicine – including opioids – online.

A recent consumer survey conducted by ASOP Global Foundation revealed that nearly half of Americans purchased prescription drugs online for the first time this past year, despite not understanding the prevalence and risks of illegal online drug sellers. The same survey shows that 45% of Americans erroneously believe all websites offering health care services and prescription medication have FDA or state regulator approval. This misconception is even higher (59%) among those who have previously purchased prescription medicines online.

“The growing willingness to buy drugs online combined with a widespread lack of awareness about the tremendous risks associated with purchased opioids and other medications from illegal online pharmacies puts consumers at jeopardy of serious harm, even death,” said Libby Baney, J.D., partner at Faegre Drinker Consulting and senior advisor to ASOP Global.

Leading the Summit’s Patient Health Impact panel, Baney will share examples of the far-reaching impact and deadly consequences of illegal, counterfeit, and substandard drugs sold via online pharmacies and social media and offer pragmatic policy solutions for protecting consumers. She will be joined by ASOP Global members, including Justin Macy, Pharm.D., J.D., Digital Health Senior Manager, National Association of Boards of Pharmacy; and Shabbir Safdar, Executive Director, Partnership for Safe Medicines. ASOP advisor Timothy Mackey, MAS, Ph.D., U.C. San Diego, will also present.

“With discussions like today’s Summit, the FDA and its Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) continue to demonstrate their unwavering commitment to combating the sale of illegal opioids online and protecting American consumers. I applaud their leadership and am honored to represent ASOP Global once again in this important ongoing cross-sector dialog,” said Baney.




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.