ARLINGTON, Va. — As one of the most accessible healthcare providers in the community, pharmacists are an ideal resource for consumers on the risks of illegal Internet drug sellers. That was a key message that the National Association of Chain Drug Stores stressed in a statement submitted to a congressional panel.
The U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing titled “Counterfeit Drugs: Fighting Illegal Supply Chains.”
“Community pharmacists are well positioned to serve as a resource for consumers on the risks of illegitimate online drug sellers. They are one of the most accessible healthcare providers in the community and available to help educate their patients on the importance of obtaining medications through legitimate pharmacies where the drugs are sourced through the legitimate U.S. supply chain,” NACDS' statement read.
The statement outlined policy solutions to help address the challenges with illegal online drug sellers that operate outside the legitimate U.S. drug distribution supply chain, including targeting illegal online drug sellers through the chokepoint approach and the use of the “.pharmacy” Internet domain name.
“We support targeting illegal Internet drug sellers through the chokepoint approach,” NACDS said. “Under this approach, Internet service entities and companies, financial entities that handle payment transactions for online sales, Internet Service Providers and common carriers that provide the mailing services would have authority to stop illicit transactions at their point of interaction with these bad actors.”
In addition, NACDS stressed the approach by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy in their effort to serve as the registry that would offer the “.pharmacy” designation to legitimate online pharmacies. Currently, “.pharmacy” is not permitted for use on the Internet, but steps are underway for NABP to offer “.pharmacy” to legitimate Internet pharmacies.
“Chain pharmacy is committed to working with Congress to protect U.S. consumers and the healthcare system from the risks of counterfeit and adulterated drugs,” NACDS said.