The House Energy & Commerce Committee hosted a subcommittee hearing last month on fighting illegal drug supply chains, including rogue Internet pharmacies. We were pleased that LegitScript was mentioned as part of the solution on multiple occasions.
In his opening statement, subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy quoted statistics from LegitScript including: nearly 97 percent of Internet "pharmacy" websites surveyed operate illegally. Vice Chairman Burgess mentioned LegitScript as a verification source, and ranking member Diana DeGette mentioned LegitScript in reference to its collaborative work with the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP). Witnesses shared their experiences and cited data, including those of LegitScript, as they urged leaders to take the problem of rogue Internet pharmacies seriously.
While members of Congress questioned whether US government agencies have the authority they need to address the proliferation of rogue Internet pharmacy websites, the hearing’s focus was not on new legislation. Members and witnesses emphasized the need for new solutions that can keep pace with these savvy Internet criminals, including voluntary actions from e-commerce companies, more public education, and increased domestic and international law enforcement action. LegitScript agrees.
Voluntary private sector actions, like updating and enforcing terms of service, are our best shot at curbing the public health threat. That’s why we help companies like Google, eNom and Visa with their voluntary compliance programs. Likewise, public education is an essential part of the solution. We try to do our part through our public notices and free pharmacy URL verification tool, and are proud to be a member of the nonprofit Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies as well. Although we can’t enforce our way out of this problem, law enforcement plays an important role by disrupting criminal operations and making examples out of some of the worst offenders.
It's nice that our work was recognized by the committee, but even better to see Congress, agencies, nonprofits, and companies take up the cause we at LegitScript work every day to solve.