A small number of domain registrars are responsible for facilitating almost all rogue online pharmacies, it has been reported.

According to LegitScript.com, around 450 companies are accredited by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to sell domain names.

But 71 per cent of all rogue online pharmacies are clustered with just ten registrars, and more than half are registered with two providers.

The sites supported by the registries are said to be responsible for distributing counterfeit drugs in a number of countries around the world.

As an example, the US market was recently hit by an influx of fake Avastin – the cancer drug.

LegitScript.com estimates that a single registrar – Internet.bs – sponsors 33 per cent of the world’s active rogue online pharmacies.

This is despite holding just 0.2 per cent of global domain names.

The figures highlight the importance of selecting a reputable domain name registrar – failing to do so may have a negative impact in terms of brand reputation.

John Horton, president of LegitScript, said a “significant majority” of registrars should be commended for prohibiting the use of their platforms in the furtherance of counterfeit drug and other illicit drug sales.

“However, rogue online pharmacies are clustering at the small number of ‘safe haven’ registrars,” he warned.

“They turn a blind eye to rogue online pharmacy domain name registrations, or even welcome the business,” he stated.

Over the last two years, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has seized a number of domain names, in a bid to combat illegal activity.

The department has pledged to continue with this policy in order to deter companies and individuals from committing criminal acts.

Concerns raised over ‘rogue’ domain name registrars

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