The White House held a meeting this past Wednesday, to which ICANN, domain registrars and registries were invited, to address the sale of counterfeit prescription medication and illegal online activity. PharmacyChecker obviously supports actions against rogue online pharmacies that pose a danger to patients, but has concerns that, due to pharmaceutical industry interests and recommendations, government efforts to shut down rogue sites might escalate to affect online pharmacies that provide a lifeline to Americans seeking safe and affordable medication online. We drafted a letter to ICANN recommending that that they not play a role in settling public policy and legal disputes on behalf of national governments, particularly in this case where pharmaceutical interests appear overly represented. ICANN seems to have agreed with our position.
As reported on Domain Incite, ICANN decided not to attend the White House meeting. Our sources confirm that this was a last minute decision. For its excellent coverage and details on ICANN’s decision we recommend reading Domain Incite’s reporting. If you’re short on time, here’s a one sentence synopsis: ICANN communicated to Domain Incite that the meeting was beyond their scope of governance, and attendance would not be appropriate.
Notwithstanding its decision, ICANN, along with the White House, has put pressure on domain registrars to retain LegitScript to shutdown certain online pharmacy sites, according to The Financial Times. As reported on several occasions, LegitScript.com works in tandem with pharmaceutical and U.S. pharmacy interests through the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies, and its actions are now causing free speech concerns in some corners of the blogosphere: http://www.bluemaumau.org/white_house_threatens_future_internet. For a lively exchange between Paul Steinberg of bleumaumau.com and John Horton, president of LegitScript, read the comments in response to the article.Tagged with: Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies, Domain Incite, Drug Prices, ICANN, LegitScript, Online Pharmacies, personal drug importation, policy