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The 120-day pilot program was set up to help reduce the availability of unapproved opioids illegally offered for sale online.
On June 8, 2020, FDA announced a pilot program to reduce illegal online sales of unapproved opioids. The 120-day pilot program is being implemented in cooperation with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). FDA will notify Internet registries participating in the pilot program when a warning letter is sent to a website operator and that operator does not respond in the required timeframe. The registries will assess whether further action is necessary, including domain name suspension or blocks. Participating registries include Neustar, Verisign, and Public Interest Registry.
“Cooperation between the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Commerce, with the addition of the pilot program, will help stop the online sale of illicit opioids and combat our country’s deadly addiction crisis,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, in a press release. “Stopping abuse of illegal opioids, including those sold online, has been one of President Trump’s top health priorities. The men and women of FDA have worked tirelessly over the years with the private sector and federal partners, like NTIA, to fight illegal online opioid sales.”
NTIA and FDA will assess the program’s effectiveness at end of the pilot.