January 31, 2022
Media contact: National Consumers League – Carol McKay, firstname.lastname@example.org or (412) 945-3242
Washington, DC – The National Consumers League is pleased to support the Domain Reform for Unlawful Drug Sellers (DRUGS) Act (HR 6352), which was introduced on January 7, 2022 by U.S. Representatives Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.) and David B. McKinley, P.E. (R-W.Va.). The Senate equivalent (S. 3399)was introduced by Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.). This legislation aims to create a program that holds internet registries and registrars responsible for illegitimate drugs being sold on their online platforms.
“People of all ages have been affected by the sale of illegitimate drugs on the internet. This issue needs a targeted intervention to avoid further harm and death that results from this problem. Requiring online platforms to take action when they are notified of illegal activity on their domains will help to reduce the number of domains selling illegitimate drugs,” said NCL’s Director of Health Policy Jeanette Contreras.
The DRUGS Act would require internet registries to take immediate action when they receive notice from “trusted notifiers” that one of their domain names is being used to sell drugs illegally online. Agencies that are considered “trusted notifiers” include the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), State Attorneys General, and State Boards of Pharmacy, among others. After receiving a notice, the online platforms would have to suspend the domain from operating, to allow for an investigation before resuming online sales. The domains would have the option to appeal, by providing evidence of lawful operation.
This legislation is a monumental step in ensuring that online platforms are held accountable for allowing illegal online pharmacies to be created, and shutting down those that already exist and operate. The DRUGS Act is modeled on a successful FDA pilot program, which resulted in the takedown of nearly 30 domain names used to offer illegal opioids online in 2020.
About the National Consumers League
The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.