The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) has applied to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to operate the registry .Pharmacy (dot pharmacy). Opposition to the application is picking up steam. Many believe that NABP’s efforts will merely serve to protect U.S. pharmacy and pharmaceutical interests at the expense of the public health by barring competition from safe non-U.S., international online pharmacies, which sell the same prescription drugs sold in the U.S. at a much lower price. Not only is the NABP application to ICANN is funded by pharmaceutical companies, but NABP’s named “Partners” in the ICANN application include Eli Lilly, a large drug company and the National Association of Chain Drugstores, a trade association representing the largest American pharmacy chains.
Opposition to NABP’s application to ICANN for .Pharmacy Registry
If given the power to oversee the registry for the .Pharmacy top-level domain, the NABP would decide which websites are permitted to use the .Pharmacy ending in their web address. It appears that the NABP’s proposed registry rules would prohibit registry to websites of safe international online pharmacies (such as websites run by licensed Canadian pharmacies) if they sell internationally to Americans. The lack of a “.Pharmacy” address by such pharmacies could frighten Americans away from using them. Considering that tens of millions of Americans don’t take medication due to high U.S. drug prices, discouraging or blocking access to affordable medication is unconscionable.
As recognized in a letter sent from RxRights.org to NABP, it does not have to be this way. The goal of providing a trusted marketplace for consumers who are searching online for safe and affordable medication can be served with a .Pharmacy website program. However, to provide the greatest benefit to consumers, ALL online pharmacies, U.S., Canadian, or otherwise, that sell authentic medication and require prescriptions should be eligible to obtain a .Pharmacy site, regardless of who they sell to. Unless the NABP agrees to adopt registry rules fostering an open and free Internet, one that maximizes access to safe and affordable medication, its application should be rejected by ICANN.Tagged with: Eli Lilly, ICANN, NABP, pharmacy, RxRights