It’s a real problem, and it has been growing over time – the sale of unsafe or illegal drugs online by rogue online pharmacies. Consumers are searching for ways to buy drugs online every day. Unregulated online pharmacies are selling fake and potentially dangerous drugs to people who don’t know any better…and the crazy thing is, 44% of the domain names registered for these rogue pharmacies are at Bahamian registrar Internet.bs. According to a recent article in The Register:
“Internet.bs was found by a LegitScript investigation to be the registrar of choice for 44 per cent of “rogue” pharmacies listed by the NABP.
Following an undercover operation, LegitScript alleged that it was able to register and use domain names such as cure-your-cancer.co.uk and legitimate-uk-pharmacy.co.uk even after informing Internet.bs executives explicitly that it planned to sell counterfeit drugs.” (The Register)
Of course there are two sides to any story and Internet.bs has claimed that they are not breaking any laws, which might be true, but does that still make it right? I guess at the end of the day businesses need to make money, I personally would not feel good about making money off of something that could actually hurt other people, no matter how legal it is. In response to the investigation, Internet.bs CEO Marco Rinaudo,
“Internet.bs Corp is always making it clear that the domain name has to comply with applicable laws. The fact that a Canadian pharmacy domain is not subject to FDA [US Food and Drug Administration] regulations is a clear example.” (The Register)
The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) has announced that they will be filing for .Pharmacy as a major move towards cleaning up this space. They are going after rogue pharmacies and the registrars and hosting companies who let them run their businesses.
The .Pharmacy TLD would only be available for registration by fully-licensed, legitimate pharmacies and ongoing compliance would be a requirement. Consumers could then instantly know which brands to trust when buying drugs online.
This is where a new gTLD really makes sense to me. Remember, we’re talking about people buying medications online, getting the wrong medication or the wrong dose could be a matter of life and death. Adding regulatory procedures to the TLD application process is one of the best ways to help consumers feel comfortable doing business with a brand. Heck, if I knew that anything ending in .Pharmacy was definitely a real licensed Pharmacy, I’d trust that more than a .COM.
Of course I’m not saying that new gTLDs will hurt .COM, I think they will buoy .COM prices and the industry as a whole. What I am saying is that I think this is a great example of something very good coming-out of a new gTLD. With so many new gTLDs coming-out many will fail to capture an audience, .Pharmacy is one that I think may have a bright future, but only time will tell.
Okay, that’s enough from me now, what do you think? Comment and let your voice be heard!