IP Partner Discusses FDA Crackdown of Online Pharmacies

Reuters Legal | June.28.2013

This article about the Food and Drug Administration’s decision to take action against thousands of websites that sell unapproved prescription medication to consumers quotes partner Rob Reznick.

While the large international enforcement effort is helpful to raise awareness about the magnitude of the problem, government efforts alone aren't enough to eradicate the illegal online drug market, said Reznick, who represents the Pharmaceutical Security Industry, the drug industry trade group dedicated to fighting counterfeit drugs. He said the pharmaceutical industry was a main driver in keeping the issue alive at government agencies.

One big logistical challenge is that most of the products come in through individual packages that have to be stopped at the border, requiring significant resources, he said. In addition, enforcement can resemble a game of Whack-A-Mole, with new websites popping up as quickly as others are shut down. The problem has also been exacerbated by social media services such as Twitter, which allow sellers to notify customers about the availability of illegal drugs without the use of spam email, Reznick added.​