Various Colored Pills on Top of Medical Test Results

Reports & Studies

This page is a repository of reports, studies and other data about the threat posed to U.S. consumers by illegal online drug sellers and measures being taken to combat this problem as well as reports related to prevalance of prescription medicine abuse, addiction and the opioid crisis in the United States.

The Internet Pharmacy Market in 2016: Trends, Challenges and Opportunities

CSIP / LegitScript logos with computer screen with pills

Prepared by LegitScript.com for the Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies

This report was commissioned by the Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies (CSIP) in order to give CSIP members and other stakeholders an understanding of the current trends and challenges in the Internet pharmacy market. This report also illustrates the impact of zero-tolerance policies on illegal activity, and how companies, like CSIP’s members, are protecting consumer health and safety through their work to block unsafe sites, collaborate with law enforcement, and educate consumers. Read More

The State of Opioid Sales on the Dark Web

CSIP - LegitScript logo with computer

A report prepared by LegitScript.com for the Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies

In 2016, LegitScript prepared a report for CSIP on the state of the internet pharmacy market, including market trends, challenges, and opportunities. That report found that about 96 percent of websites marketing pharmaceuticals on the open internet — somewhere between 30,000 and 35,000 — failed to adhere to applicable legal requirements. Of those, the vast majority (all but about five percent) were blatantly illegal and unsafe, selling prescription drugs without requiring a prescription.

However, our report also found that the voluntary efforts of internet and payment platforms such as Google, PayPal, and Bing, among other companies, to curb the online promotion of illicit products have disrupted these illicit businesses’ operations, specifically by removing the options of paid advertising and the most common payment methods.

These successes may have pushed illicit drug dealers to the “dark web.” This portion of the internet, which requires specialized software or configurations to access, is built for anonymity and privacy, and as such is the perfect haven for sellers of illicit products.

In response to that increasingly important question, this report provides an overview of the dark web, describes how it is used for illicit drug sales, and identifies key vulnerabilities.

View the report.

Understanding the Opioid Overdose Crisis in the United States

National Institute on Drug Abuse

Every day, more than 115 Americans die after overdosing on opioids. The misuse of and addiction to opioids—including prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl—is a serious national crisis that affects public health as well as social and economic welfare.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that the total “economic burden” of prescription opioid misuse alone in the United States is $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement.

View the fact sheet from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.