POLITICO Pro turned to government and regulatory affairs partner and senior adviser to the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies Libby Baney for her commentary on counterfeit online pharmacies and the market for abortion medication.
“Counterfeit criminals go to where there’s demand — and there’s demand, and there are access challenges. That creates criminal opportunity and a major patient safety risk,” explained Baney. “You could register a domain name anonymously from anywhere in the world and offer pretty much anything you want on it — and good luck trying to shut down that site because you don’t know who’s operating it.”
Baney emphasized that some domain registry services won’t give up information to regulators in the U.S. without a subpoena and won’t take down illegal sites without a court order. She also touched on the Domain Reform for Unlawful Drug Sellers Act, which seeks to hold domain registrars accountable by requiring them to lock and suspend a domain name associated with illegal conduct once notified by the Food and Drug Administration or the Justice Department.
“The algorithm is controllable. You could prioritize legitimate, licensed vendors and online pharmacies,” said Baney, who would like to see search engines take more responsibility.
Baney was also quoted in Becker’s Hospital Review.
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