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Rubio Introduces Bill to Combat Illegal Sale of Fentanyl, Other Drugs Online

Dec 16, 2021 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) introduced the Domain Reform for Unlawful Drug Sellers (DRUGS) Act (S. 3399) to provide the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to suspend websites run by criminal networks that traffic fentanyl, counterfeit medications, and other illegal drugs. The bill, based on a successful pilot program from the FDA and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, would require registries and registrars to lock those domain names, identified by trusted notifiers, as facilitating the sale of illicit drugs and then suspend them. The bill provides for an appeals process to allow legitimate online pharmacies to demonstrate they are operating legally and safely. A one-pager of the legislation is available here.
“Florida ranks second in the nation for overdose deaths, and far too many families across the country find themselves torn apart by drug addiction,” Rubio said. “We need to crack down on bad actors, including those from China, that target our youth and families with the online sales of counterfeit and illicit drugs like fentanyl. Without legislative action, this highly addictive drug will continue to fuel the growing opioid crisis in America. I encourage my colleagues to support this bill and give our communities the protection they need.”
“The opioid epidemic is hurting communities across our nation—none have been immune to its devastating effects,” Klobuchar said. “This bipartisan legislation will help eliminate unlawful digital pharmacies and other marketplaces illegally selling opioids or substandard drugs online, a major step as we work to address this public health emergency. Moving forward, I’ll keep pushing for policies to stop illegal sale of opioids and assist families impacted by this epidemic.”
The DRUGS Act has been endorsed by the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, the National Consumers League, RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Wholesalers, the Coalition for Online Accountability, the Partnership for Safe Medicines, and the Pharmaceutical Security Institute.