I love the internet. I believe in it. I believe that it can make our lives better, improve our choices, help us to gain access to information quickly and easily and also help us to save money.
But there’s also a “dark side” and ugly “underbelly”. There’s a very large part of the internet that is nasty and evil. It’s a space populated with websites set up to steal user’s credentials, their money or, in some cases, their very lives.
When it comes to the sale of prescription medicines we’ve decided to take a firm stance. We won’t just “sit on the fence”. But we’re not “experts” and we don’t want to put ourselves in the position of having to judge what constitutes a “legitimate” online pharmacy and what constitutes a “rogue” pharmacy.
With that in mind we’ve been working with LegitScript and are now delighted to announce our partnership with them (see release below). Legitscript have been doing this stuff for years and are well respected internationally.
We’re also working closely with the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacy, which is attempting to bring both the pharmaceutical industry and intermediaries (such as ourselves) together to help provide a cleaner online environment in Europe.
We’ve also updated our master terms of service and registrant agreement to make it 100% clear where we stand.
Here’s the bit that’s relevant:
ONLINE PHARMACY POLICY
An “Online Pharmacy” means a website that sells or facilitates the sale of drugs (e.g., prescription medicines).
“Applicable Laws” means the laws and regulations of a) the jurisdiction where the online pharmacy dispenses drugs from and b) the jurisdiction where the online pharmacy offers to dispense or ship drugs to, and the Irish jurisdiction.
“Notices” means any and all notices as provided by LegitScript.
b. Abuse Policy.
Domain names registered with Blacknight Internet Solutions Limited may not be used to facilitate the sale of drugs in violation of Applicable Laws. This expressly includes, but is not limited to, the sale of prescription drugs without a prescription based on a prior in-person examination, except where such is expressly permitted by Applicable Laws, or the selling of unapproved drugs (e.g., falsified medicines, counterfeit drugs, or drugs unapproved for sale). Where Blacknight Internet Solutions Limited is of the reasonable opinion, or receives notice from LegitScript that a domain is violating the applicable laws, then the domain will be suspended pending full investigation.
c. Domain Name Suspension.
Blacknight Internet Solutions Limited may SUSPEND and PERMANENTLY lock online pharmacy domains that appear in breach of our ONLINE PHARMACY POLICY without prior notice to you. Suspended online pharmacy domain names will remain locked and CANNOT be transferred away to another Registrar until and unless Blacknight Internet Solutions investigations are completed to their satisfaction and they are of the reasonable opinion that there is no breach, or where LegitScript notifies Blacknight Internet Solutions that the domain name is no longer classified as operating in violation of this section.
d. Sole Responsibility.
It is your sole responsibility to be familiar with, and ensure that your website complies with Applicable Laws. You agree that marketing prescription drugs to a jurisdiction despite not being appropriately licensed to dispense prescription drugs there, or selling drugs online in a way that does not comply with Applicable Laws, constitutes fraud and is a violation of this agreement.
You hereby agree to indemnify and hold us harmless from any and all loss occasioned by you as a result of us suspending your domain name. You also agree to indemnify and hold us harmless from any complaints or claims made against you by third parties and any loss that occurs due to any third party claims. Further, you hereby agree to indemnify and hold us harmless if LegitScript designates a domain name you have registered as operating in violation of this section.
So if you’re not happy with our policy then we’d recommend you look elsewhere.
This policy is 100% in line with our commitments and philosophy and our stance on email, network and other forms of abuse.
Here’s the release:
March 6, 2013 – Carlow, Ireland – Leading Irish registrar and hosting company Blacknight is taking action against rogue pharmacy operators.
Blacknight is constantly working to find ways to make the Internet safer for their customers and clients. Their latest partnership with LegitScript, an anti-rogue pharma firm will allow Blacknight to ensure that no fake pharma 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.
Michele Neylon of Blacknight explains: “We are pleased to announce that we are changing our terms of service to explicitly ban fake pharma. 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.
Neylon continues: “Not every entity selling pharmaceuticals operate as rogue. 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.”
LegitScript President John Horton said, “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. 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.
For more information on Blacknight’s suite of services and their fight against cybercrime please visit http://www.blacknight.com
For more information on LegitScript please visit: http://www.legitscript.com.
Blacknight are an Irish based, ICANN accredited domain registrar and hosting company. Recipients of several awards for their revolutionary use of social media, Blacknight are one of Europe’s most cutting edge Internet companies. Blacknight constantly seek to lead the way by introducing innovative solutions for its client base and provide dedicated servers and colocation as well as a comprehensive range of Microsoft Windows and Linux based hosting plans and domain name registration services to business globally.
LegitScript LLC, founded in 2007, assists consumers and businesses in determining which Internet pharmacy web sites operate safely and in compliance with Federal and state laws and regulations, as well as with accepted medical standards and ethics. LegitScript LLC uses standards that have been recognised by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. Pharmacies that display the LegitScript seal of approval have agreed to adhere to Boards of Pharmacy, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) laws and regulations.
If you have any queries or comments do let us know.