FACTS AND FIGURES
- In 2013, the members of CSIP took down or blocked almost 5 million sites that were violating platform policies related to the sale of prescription drugs.
- In November 2012, CSIP participated in Operation Pangea with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and law enforcement bodies and shut down more than 18,000 illegal pharmacy websites and seized approximately $10.5 million worth of pharmaceuticals worldwide.
- CSIP supported consumer education campaigns for the FDA’s BeSafeRX and the Partnership for Drugfree America’s Medicine Abuse Project, which yielded a total of 41,265,758 social media impressions.
- According to Legitscript, the number of illegal drug and pharmacy ads on major search engines like Google and Bing [Microsoft] has declined by more than 99.9% percent since 2010. These ads have virtually been eliminated.
- Google alone has removed more than 3 million ads for illegal pharmacies and has made thousands of referrals to law enforcement about rogue online pharmacies since 2011.
- Visa and Discover have a long history of working cooperatively with law enforcement officials and both have robust monitoring programs that routinely search the Internet for sites purporting to accept payment by branded cards in exchange for illegal prescription drugs.
CSIP companies, like Google and Microsoft, have made significant progress in the last several years. According to John Horton, “Google and Microsoft are now industry leaders in safety and security on pharmaceutical ads -— not only in the US but globally. They have come a long way. Specifically, Google and Microsoft have implemented unprecedentedly comprehensive pharma-related advertising policies. There is zero tolerance for illegal, unsafe or deceptive medical or pharmaceutical advertisements. Similarly, payment networks are working hard to remove the ability of rogue merchants to accept credit, debit, and prepaid cards as payment for illegal prescription drugs.”
The sale and distribution of illegal pharmaceuticals is a complex challenge, and CSIP and its members continue to work effectively with the government and law enforcement to reduce the number of online illegal pharmacies and to promote consumer awareness and education online. The progress that CSIP and its partners have made represents a significant leap forward for the industry and for consumers. But, there’s still a long way to go.