February 2021

New Year, New Government: Renewed Focus on Illegal Online Drug Sales

The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy

In the February 2021 edition of The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy’s (NABP) Innovations publication, Faegre Drinker Consulting Director Sarah-Lloyd Stevenson co-authored an article about expected changes to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (47 U.S.C. § 230), a telecommunications law that impacts the practice of pharmacy.

Stevenson explains public health and patient safety implications related to Section 230, which currently provides liability immunity to online platforms that knowingly facilitate illegal or obscene content. She further notes the dangers of illegal online pharmacies, including the sale of prescription drugs and illicit narcotics.

Stevenson also highlights two NABP programs that help consumers identify legitimate providers on the internet. Regarding Section 230, she discusses its history, federal liability protections and policy changes proposed in 2020.

In conclusion, Stevenson emphasizes the need for policy solutions that rein in liability protections and protect public health by holding illegal online pharmacies accountable.

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