Google, Mi­crosoft to help com­bat il­le­gal web phar­ma­cies

The Pak Banker - - Company& -

WASHINGTON: Google Inc. and Mi­crosoft Corp. are help­ing to es­tab­lish a non-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion tar­get­ing il­le­gal In­ter­net phar­ma­cies in sup­port of Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion ef­forts, ac­cord­ing to the White House Of­fice of Man­age­ment and Bud­get.

The group is com­prised of com­pa­nies that serve as In­ter­net choke points and was in re­sponse to a call from the ad­min­is­tra­tion for pri­vate ef­forts to po­lice il­le­gal phar­ma­cies, said Vic­to­ria Espinel, the White House in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty en­force­ment co­or­di­na­tor.

Counterfeit drug sales ac­count for about $75 bil­lion in global sales, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Boards of Phar­ma­cies. An es­ti­mated 1 per­cent to 2 per­cent of drugs in North Amer­ica are counterfeit, ac­cord­ing to the group's web­site.

"It's im­por­tant that we act ag­gres­sively now be­fore it snow­balls into a big­ger prob­lem," Espinel said in an in­ter­view.

The U.S. aims to "put a chal­lenge to the pri­vate sec­tor, rather than have us reg­u­late or man­date."

Com­pa­nies par­tic­i­pat­ing in the ef­fort in­clude Ya­hoo! Inc., MasterCard Inc., Visa Inc., Amer­i­can Ex­press Co., Inc., Neus­tar Inc., eNom Inc. and EBay Inc.'s Paypal Inc.

"As the ad­min­is­tra­tion has made clear, no one com­pany can solve this prob­lem, so this new cross-in­dus­try group is a wel­come step for­ward that we are pleased to sup­port," Hi­lary Ware, man­ag­ing coun­sel for lit­i­ga­tion and reg­u­la­tory af­fairs at Moun­tain View, Cal­i­for­ni­abased Google, said in a state­ment.

As part of its ef­fort, the U.S. con­tacted credit-card pay­ment net­works, ad­ver­tis­ers and com­pa­nies that con­trol as­sign­ment of In­ter­net ad­dresses, or do­main names, that can be used by il­le­gal phar­ma­cies. -Bloomberg

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