San Diego International Law Journal


Bob Schultz

Library of Congress Authority File


Document Type



There is an unaddressed anomaly with respect to regulating online pharmacies when compared with traditional pharmacies. Online pharmacies serve the same ends as traditional brick and mortar pharmacies, i.e., to bring medication to consumers as a part of a profitable business. The raison d’étre of traditional pharmacy regulation—to protect consumers —should logically apply to online sources of the same inherently dangerous pharmaceuticals. However, traditional pharmacies are regulated, while online pharmacies have long eluded effective regulation and now constitute a lawless source of purchase and abuse that is far from real physician control, effective standards, or accountability....
This Comment will establish a foundation for analyzing the problem by describing online pharmacies in the marketplace today. Part III will describe how the international community has thus far attempted to address the problem of online pharmacies. Part IV will address how the United States has approached the problem, including a specific analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the Ryan Haight Online Consumer Protection Act of 2008 (“Ryan Haight Act”). Part V will summarize the current problems still facing the global marketplace of consumers and citizens. Part VI will recommend a solution to the problem in the form of an international compact that draws upon the Ryan Haight Act and international approaches to date. Part VII will present the objectives and suggested content of such an international compact.