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Canadian International Pharmacy Association Celebrates 20 Years on the Internet

The Canadian International Pharmacy Association (CIPA) recently achieved a major milestone: We celebrated our 20-year anniversary, serving millions of customers around the world who otherwise would not afford, access or trust ordering their daily maintenance medications where they live. Founded in 2002 by a group of Canadian pharmacists who recognized the potential of the Internet to provide safe and affordable access to medications, CIPA has grown to become the world’s foremost online pharmacy association. CIPA maintains a comprehensive set of Standards of Practice that all member pharmacies must adhere to. These Standards cover a wide range of areas, including patient safety, medication quality, and financial transparency to address the needs of the patients we are committed to serve from licensed pharmacies. It is through our members’ strict adherence to these Standards of Practice that we’ve maintained our perfect safety record for two decades… and counting!

In the world of internet governance, CIPA is a long-term member of the ICANN Business Constituency, the Internet Infrastructure Coalition (i2C), and Internet & Jurisdiction Policy Network, where we join with the world’s greater business and technical communities in the commitment to promoting a safe and trusted internet. CIPA’s trademarked certification seal displays our own record of trust and safety, and we bring these safety values and practices to our engagement and discussions with our governance colleagues.

Our participation over the years at RightsCon and the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) has been productive in sharing and broadening understanding of the growing demand for ordering prescription maintenance medications from online pharmacies. We have collaborated with academics, activists, internet policy experts, NGOs and human rights advocates in the creation of the Brussels Principles on the Sale of Medicines over the Internet, which sets out a framework for the creation of transnational pharmacy access protocols. Additionally, CIPA fully supports addressing DNS content abuse. Bad actor’s misuse of the DNS includes creating fake pharmacy websites that sell prescription drugs without prescriptions or may sell counterfeit, expired or substandard medications that pose a serious health risk to patients. We see the devastation caused from the sale of fentanyl-laced addictive drugs, and for this reason, CIPA has proactively called for a ban on the sale of opioids over the Internet. Stopping the sale of fake drugs or those that are addictive and often abused requires dedicated attention and action. By pursuing harm to human life collectively, we can maximize the good of a global, interoperable internet.

As we move into our third decade of safe dispensing, our association continues its commitment to safe online pharmacy practices and engaging in the dialogue around the many current and emerging issues that shape the Internet, and ICANN. CIPA looks forward to continuing its collaboration toward a compassionate, trans-national approach that provides online access to safe and affordable medications for those in need.

By Tim Smith, General Manager

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