[At-Large] News on the .health TLD allocation

Alan Greenberg alan.greenberg at mcgill.ca
Sun Aug 31 20:27:51 UTC 2014


Thanks for participating in this dialogue with us and providing just 
a bit more clarity.


At 31/08/2014 12:45 PM, John Horton wrote:
>Hi everyone,
>Just thought I'd jump in on this. While I don't want to deign to speak for
>.HEALTH (or .PHARMACY), since we'll be involved in the monitoring, thought
>it might be helpful to explain the envisioned approach, and also how
>LegitScript's monitoring program works.
>Basically, the general philosophy is that anything that's currently okay in
>the offline world is going to be permitted online as well. It's not
>intended to be more or less restrictive, but just to reflect what's already
>required as per existing healthcare-related regulations. Obviously, it
>depends on the product in question: prescription drugs tend to have
>stricter requirements than supplements, for example, in most countries.
>What's restricted or permitted also varies by country or local
>jurisdiction. One important point is that it's not US-centric, as one
>poster seemed to think could be the case. If the website is offering
>products to Japan, for example, then they have to adhere to whatever
>Japanese laws and regulations apply to the sale of those products. If they
>are selling to resident of India, then they have to follow those laws and
>regulations. But unless they are shipping drugs or other regulated products
>to the US, they wouldn't be bound by US laws and regulations. (If a
>healthcare product merchant is legal in three jurisdictions but shipping to
>five jurisdictions, then there is a really easy answer: stop shipping to
>the two jurisdictions where you aren't operating legally.) That's no
>different than what's required in the offline world as well, e.g., for a
>brick-and-mortar pharmacy. On our end, we already monitor healthcare
>merchants in multiple jurisdictions around the world (China, Korea, Japan,
>Ireland, France, Germany, Indonesia, Thailand, Canada...the list goes on),
>applying the laws and regulations that are appropriate to each
>circumstance, so we see it as pretty straightforward. Obviously, it would
>be not only impractical, but also unfair, to require a healthcare merchant
>in Sweden legally selling to Scandinavian jurisdictions to comply with US
>laws and regulations (in fact, it would be impossible).
>Unfortunately, the online healthcare space is one that does benefit from
>some monitoring -- there have been multiple deaths and adverse events from
>fake drugs, tainted supplements, that sort of thing. So, both of those TLDs
>are intended to be a safe space where Internet users can know that the
>seller is operating in accordance with the laws and regulations that they
>are supposed to, just by looking at the TLD. That seems to us to be a good
>thing. But, the Internet is a global space, and it's definitely not
>US-centric or based on any one countries' laws and regulations -- rather,
>it's jurisdictionally flexible based on the circumstance in question.
>Hope that helps to clarify.
>John Horton
>President, LegitScript
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