PORTLAND, Ore., June 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Internet pharmacy verification and monitoring firm LegitScript announced that it recently shut down over 6,700 rogue Internet pharmacies.
The move is part of Operation Pangea VI, an annual partnership between INTERPOL and several public and private entities to stem the tide of fake medicine or illegal no-prescription-required drug sales.
LegitScript said the websites, which marketed drugs in English, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Hebrew, Russian and multiple European languages, were selling falsified or substandard medicines, not requiring a prescription, and lacked required pharmacy licenses.
"These websites may market themselves as online pharmacies, but in most cases don't have a valid pharmacy license at all," said LegitScript president John Horton.
Free Internet Pharmacy Legitimacy Checker
LegitScript, whose Internet pharmacy monitoring service is recognized on behalf of state pharmacy regulators by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, works closely with domain name companies, search engines, payment service providers and regulatory authorities to help ensure compliance with applicable drug safety laws. The company's website, legitscript.com, provides Internet users with a free Internet pharmacy legitimacy checker and a free tool to check dietary supplement and herbal product safety.
The company estimates that 97% of Internet pharmacies operate illegally, with just 3% classified as legitimate.
Domain Name Registrars (Mostly) Praised
LegitScript praised several ICANN-accredited domain name registrars, the companies that sell domain names to website operators, that "refuse to let their registration platforms be used in furtherance of illegal activity." The company said that about 80% of registrars, such as GoDaddy, eNom, Directi, Blacknight, Name.com, Moniker, Internet.bs and DomainContext, have firm policies in place against unlicensed drug sellers. "Internet users should be aware that these registrars play an important role in reducing spam and fraud on the Internet," said Horton.
In late 2012, LegitScript began releasing monthly statistics identifying the top ICANN-accredited registrars utilized by rogue Internet pharmacies. "Illicit drug merchants cluster at a handful of domain name companies that ignore rogue Internet pharmacy abuse notifications," said Horton. The company's May 2013 blog identified the top five registrars for illicit Internet pharmacies as China's TodayNic and BizCN, Joker.com of Germany, and Rebel and Tucows, both of Canada.
In addition to the pharmacy websites, LegitScript shut down 97 websites that were illegally selling steroids. The company says that is has dismantled over 40,000 rogue Internet pharmacies since 2009.