At the annual meeting of the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP Global), calls were made for platforms to be compelled to do more to fight illicit trade, reported World Trademark Review (WTR). Shortly after the ASOP Global meeting, a Senate Committee on the Judiciary hearing explored just that. WTR spoke to government and regulatory affairs partner and senior adviser to ASOP Global Libby Baney to provide insight on the Senate Committee’s efforts to combat illegal online drug sales.
Baney noted that “cost, convenience and access to care” are the key motivators to purchasing online; thus, policy, rather than education, is the way to facilitate meaningful change.
When discussing how to combat illegal online pharmacies, Baney highlighted that the issue is too big. “We can’t just enforce our way out of it,” she said. “We need better policies and we need accountability. There is no accountability without liability and there hasn’t been liability for internet companies – which are now part of the drug supply chain.”
Baney shared that it’s all about compelling platforms and social media companies to act against dangerous illicit drugs. “We heard from a grieving parent and he said if it was a case of a 747 having engine failure and putting passengers at risk, the TSA would immediately shut them down. It would disrupt travel and the commercial interest of the companies, but from a public health perspective they would take them off the market until they came up with a systemic solution to protect consumers. But in this case social media companies and others continue to have – and profit from – their platform. Their product continues to fly through the air and create record profits, and it is not being taken off the market to create systemic and internal structures that would allow for safety going forward. That is concerning.”
The full article is available for WTR subscribers.