Irish Registrar Goes On Offensive Against Fake Pharma

Fake pharmaceutical products online not only take profits from large drug companies, they also often put the health of users at risk through dangerous or ineffective drugs or people self-diagnosing with drugs they don’t know about the effects and side-effects.

Going on the front foot to do their bit to tackle this problem is a leading Irish registrar and hosting company, Blacknight, who have announced they are taking action against rogue pharmacy operators.

Blacknight have formed a partnership with LegitScript, an anti-rogue pharmaceutical firm, which will allow Blacknight to ensure that no fake pharmaceutical will be funnelled through their channels. LegitScript currently works with Registrars, providing complimentary notifications and serving as an “outsourced” abuse team on rogue online pharmacy issues.

“We are pleased to announce that we are changing our terms of service to explicitly ban fake pharma,” said Michele Neylon of Blacknight. “Blacknight has a long history of aiding the fight against cybercrime and our partnership with LegitScript will allow us to take an active stance against rogue pharmacy operators.”

The word “rogue” literally means, in this context, “operating outside of normal controls.” Rogue Internet pharmacy operators tend to seek a “jurisdiction-less” zone or “safe havens” from where they can claim that they are not subject to any drug safety regulations whatsoever, thus putting customers at risk of receiving substandard or falsified medicines.

LegitScript is endorsed by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, on behalf of the government agencies that license and regulate pharmacies in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and works with drug safety regulators throughout the EU and other regions. The NABP’s endorsement is specifically for the purpose of working with domain name registrars, ISPs, search engines and financial institutions to determine which online pharmacies are legitimate and which are not in compliance with applicable drug safety laws and regulations.

“Not every entity selling pharmaceuticals operate as rogue,” said Neylon. “However, the ones that are doing so create an unsafe environment for the entire industry. Domain registrars often unwittingly aid this practice because they don’t have the resources to dedicate to fighting it. LegitScript is a massive help to us in cleaning up the space we are responsible for and I highly recommend that more registrars incorporate these services.”

“Registrars such as Blacknight are leading the way in making sure that the Internet is safe and secure, and that cyber-criminals selling fake medicines are not allowed to take advantage of patients or other vulnerable populations,” said LegitScript President John Horton. “We commend Blacknight’s leadership in this area, and we look forward to working with them to help make the online healthcare market a secure, safe environment for all Internet users.”

Both the NABP and LegitScript have found that approximately 97% of all online pharmacies fail to comply with applicable laws and regulations. Of these, the vast majority –– well over 90% –– are overtly criminal in nature. However, a small percentage (roughly 4%) fail to comply with applicable laws and regulations, but in a way that is less serious and that typically does not warrant suspending the domain name.