THE MAGAZINE

What Ails Online Pharmacies

By Carlton Purvis

ASOP recently worked to get H.R. 4095 (The Online Pharmacy Safety Act) introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives in February 2012. The bill would have established a registry of safe online pharmacies (similar to what LegitScripts now does), and it would have required a person to have at least one in-person visit with a doctor to obtain a prescription. The bill never passed.

EAASM would also like to see policymakers develop processes by which online pharmacies are regularly audited or verified and fake pharmacy Web sites are removed. As with any cybercrime, the global nature of the sites and the lack of physicality would make enforcement of any such initiatives difficult. EAASM also says that search engines need to step up and create policies that keep fake Web sites from showing up in search results, perhaps a more achievable goal than audits and shutdowns.

In 2013, EAASM will do another Web site campaign that will target people who shop online with mobile devices. The warning message page will have additional information for buyers on support groups and nationally available resources for getting medicines safely.

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