CIPA Celebrates with the ICANN Business Constituency

October 3, 2022

CIPA General Manager stresses importance of ensuring consumer trust on internet

In September 2022, as the Canadian International Pharmacy Association approached its 20th anniversary, General Manager Tim Smith wrote an article in the newsletter for the Business Constituency (BC) of the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and reflected on CIPA's experience working with like-minded organizations to ensure that the internet is a trusted place for consumers.

You can view the entire newsletter here, and we're pleased to share Smith's observations here.

The Business Constituency

A Member's Perspective

Members of The Canadian International Pharmacy Association (CIPA), an association of online pharmacy businesses, rely on the internet, the policies that shape it and technical stability it provides, to ensure safe and secure operations that serve our customers worldwide.

CIPA attended its first ICANN meeting in 2010 and joined the Business Constituency (BC) in 2012 to align with the constituency that promotes end-user confidence of the internet and works to ensure it is a safe place to conduct business. These are highly valued attributes for businesses and customers alike.

This year, CIPA celebrates two decades of continual presence by our association members, using the internet as our base of patient outreach. Our 20 years includes a perfect safety record that CIPA members have earned by following fundamentals guided by over 70 Standards of Practice and policies that each member must comply with to maintain authorized use of the Certification Mark (CIPA Seal). Here are a few foundational examples of what CIPA mandates from its members:

  • Requiring a valid prescription from a physician who has examined the patient and is licensed to provide diagnosis
  • Dispensing medication approved by the health authority in the jurisdiction in which the licensed pharmacy operates
  • Having a licensed pharmacist on staff to supervise dispensing of medications and to be available for consultation upon patient request
  • Obtaining demographic and medical information from the patient and maintaining a health profile with medication history to avoid adverse drug interactions
  • Prohibiting dispensing of controlled substances, narcotics, products containing pseudoephedrine or highly temperature sensitive products.

As a BC member, we have shared within our constituency CIPA's commitment to safety and to serving people who can't afford, access, or trust medication where they live. We also meet and collaborate with registrars and registries within ICANN; and other internet infrastructure businesses we've met through ICANN including the Internet Infrastructure Coalition (i2C), the, and the Internet and Jurisdiction Policy Network (I&JPN), all of which seek to build a more trusted and trustworthy internet.

Over our 20 years history, CIPA has seen the immense good of the internet - but we've also witnessed and experienced the bad. Our members have been directly impacted by the presence of bad actors that exist in the fake pharmacy space. Additionally, the CIPA Seal has become so recognizable and respected that rogue pharmacy operators abuse it to trick people into believing they've found a legitimate website. This is an abuse of our registered trademark and causes reputational damage to our brand.

As a result, CIPA has strong concerns about DNS abuse, because bad actors erode the confidence customers have in safe online pharmacy shopping. We believe that appropriate access to Whois can mitigate those that prey upon the public; and CIPA believes in 'One World - One Internet', because by pursuing harmful activities together, we can collectively maximize the good of a global, interoperable internet we all wish to see.

These are relevant issues to the Business Constituency, and to all of those who have built their businesses on the internet. Users rely on trust and good reputation to confidently conduct business online. Fraudulent use of identity, misinformation, harmful messaging and false claims are issues that damage the value of the internet. The ICANN multistakeholder community provides the forum to have dialogue on all of the issues that shape the internet. For our part, CIPA is committed to continue this dialogue - and we look forward to another 20 years of safe dispensing for all who need us.


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