Trump administration is fighting illegal online sales of unapproved opioids through a pilot program


In the late ‘90s, the US has been struck down by the opioid endemic. People overusing opioids to treat chronic pain ended in one of America’s major crisis:

The opioid crisis.

From 1999 to 2017, more than 399,000 people died as a result of opioid overdoses generated by both medical prescriptions and illegal use. 130 lives are lost daily to the abuse.

Medical prescription opioids are the second most used drug by teenagers. First being cannabis. Being more affordable and easily achievable, opioids exceed the use of cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine all together.

The US is also losing $78.5 billion per year to this crisis. The financial losses are generated by the cost of health care, addiction treatment, criminal justice involvement, and productivity loss.

The pilot program

For 90 days, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will target websites that are illegally selling unapproved opioids to suspended their domains.

The FDA will notify website domain registries Neustar (.us), Verisign (.com, .net), and Public Interest Registry (.org) on the websites that engage in the illegal activity. The registries will either delete, lock, or place the domain of the mischievous website under hold.

After the pilot phase, if the program proves to be effective, it will be taken into consideration for a long-term solution.

DEA is at fault too

Last year, Jeffery Greco, a criminal defense lawyer, and a former prosecutor called the DEA “the gatekeeper of opioid production and distribution in the United States.” Despite the opioid crisis, the DEA encouraged the increasing manufacture of opioids.

Greco was outraged last year by the DEA policy that allowed registrants to reapply for registration after they were revoked. “To call this appalling is an insult to the word appalling,” said Greco.

Since last year, the DEA together with the FDA issued warning letters to 4 online networks running opioid medicines – Divyata, Euphoria Healthcare Pvt Ltd, JCM Dropship, and Meds4U which were running ten websites illegally marketing opioids.