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News & Updates

The Latest on Internet Pharmacies, Supplements, Designer Drugs, and Other High-Risk Merchants

LegitScript partners with INTERPOL, Operation Pangea in shutting down rogue online pharmacies

LegitScript is pleased to join with INTERPOL, the US Food and Drug Administration, the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency and more than 100 law enforcement and regulatory agencies in announcing the results of Operation Pangea, an “international week of action” aimed at reducing the threat posed by the sale of falsified medicines over the Internet.

As noted in the INTERPOL press release (October 4, 2012):

Support by companies including LegitScript, Visa, Mastercard and PayPal resulted in more than 18,000 websites linked to illicit online pharmacies being identified and shut down, the suspension of payment facilities of online rogue pharmacies, and the disruption of a massive number of spam emails and social networking messages.

LegitScript’s role in Operation Pangea spans research, identifying illegal online pharmacies and notifying domain name registrars for the purpose of helping registrars understand which online pharmacies are legitimate and which ones fail to comply with applicable laws and regulations.

LegitScript also is an ex officio member of the Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies, whose members include many of the companies (such as the credit card companies and PayPal, identified in the INTERPOL press release) that supported the initiative as well.

How we do what we do

LegitScript’s staff are the international Internet pharmacy people: Our team of analysts, who speak languages ranging from English to Korean, Hebrew, Dutch, Turkish, Chinese and many more (even Irish!), spend our days identifying, reviewing and classifying Internet pharmacies based on their compliance with the laws of the jurisdictions they are targeting. We also spend a lot of time looking at how these websites tie together –– groups of hundreds or even thousands of websites that constitute a single, albeit amorphous, criminal network.

With the world’s largest database of rogue online pharmacies, LegitScript was glad for the opportunity to participate in Operation Pangea. We targeted a small number of big networks (like GlavMed and EvaPharmacy, among others), as well as a large number of independent websites or those in smaller networks.

Central to the success of this operation are responsible domain name registrars who put the public interest first, refusing to let their platforms be used by criminals selling falsified medicines: registrars like Internet.bs, GoDaddy, eNom, the Center for Ukrainian Names, URL Solutions, Directi and many others. LegitScript applauds the efforts of those and other registrars who acted to help keep the Internet safe and secure from the illicit sale of pharmaceuticals, a highly profitable but extremely dangerous business.

LegitScript is proud to have partnered with INTERPOL, law enforcement agencies and drug safety regulators to reduce the threat posed by rogue Internet pharmacies.

Over the next year, LegitScript will continue our outreach to registrars and other Internet companies to help them ensure that their platforms are not used by cybercriminals targeting vulnerable patient populations.