I’m pleased to announce that LegitScript has released a complimentary guide about Internet pharmacies for domain name registrars, registries and hosting providers, along with a one-page cheat sheet and a summary of the laws and regulations in the 18 countries Internet pharmacies target the most often. We’ve worked for years with registrars and registries to let them know about rogue Internet pharmacies abusing their services. At the same time, some registrars who do not take action against these domain names have asked us questions: What makes an Internet pharmacy legal or illegal? Under which countries’ laws? Do I need to be concerned about liability? What protections for the registrant exist? How can I ensure that the process is fair and transparent?
In the interest of answering those questions, LegitScript has developed a policy guide for registrars that aims to do three things. First, it provides an overview of the laws and regulations that govern Internet pharmacies worldwide. While each country has its own laws, of course, these are remarkably consistent worldwide, typically with only minor variations. Second, we’ve provided a one-page “cheat sheet,” knowing that registrars and registries may not have the time or inclination to pore through 27 pages. Third, it answers the very basic question of why anyone — including a registrar or registry — should care about this problem.
As the Internet continues to evolve, it’s worth thinking about the intersection of the Internet and healthcare. On the one hand, it’s exciting: the Internet allows patients to get health-related information faster; to obtain better access to medicines; and hopefully, to cut down on high prescription drug costs. On the other hand, the most salient characteristic of the online prescription drug market is in how dirty it is, with 97% of Internet pharmacies estimated to operate legally and unsafely. Not only does this hold the online healthcare market back, but it puts patients’ health and safety at risk, with numerous deaths, overdoses and adverse health effects reported yearly.
Registrars and registries play an important role in addressing this problem simply by responding to complaints that a domain name is being used in violation of these companies’ Terms and Conditions. When a domain name is used to sell drugs that are not approved for safety or effectiveness; that require a prescription but are sold without a valid one; or that are dispensed by an entity without legally required pharmacy licenses, it puts patient’s health and safety at risk. When those conditions exist, LegitScript encourages registrars and registries to suspend and lock the domain name.
LegitScript thanks the registrar, registry and content hosting community for its leadership in making the Internet safer and more secure. We hope that these resources are helpful to your anti-abuse efforts and are proud to reaffirm our commitment to your anti-abuse efforts worldwide.