Foresighting Fellow Hosts Panel at Internet Governance Forum
November 27, 2019
Global Health Foresighting Fellow Aria Ilyad Ahmad hosted "IGF 2019 WS #92 Public Health Online: Shadow Regulation-Access to Medicines" at the 2019 Internet Governance Forum.
Convened by the United Nations, the Internet Governance Forum serves to bring people together from various stakeholder groups as equals, in discussions on public policy issues relating to the Internet.
IGF 2019 WS #92 Public Health Online: Shadow Regulation-Access to Medicines
The session will open with a segment that will identify: (a) the lack of evidence, exacerbated by evidence gaps, misinformation and inflamed rhetoric about the dangers surrounding importation of safe and affordable medicines; (b) the absence of a shared, internationally-recognized standards in the online pharmacy space; and (c) the realities of what is happening in the online pharmacy marketplace. Expert panelists on digital rights, public health, access to medicines, and internet distance care – along with those in attendance at our session – will describe the current state of how innovation, shadow regulations and internet governance impact access to medicines and public health. The factual presentation will cover information both about dangerous websites that sell falsified and substandard medicines intentionally or due to negligence, and the policies of legitimate internet pharmacies that follow good standards of practice in accordance with local or international regulations. The second segment of the Workshop will invite discussion on the output of the research agenda on transnational internet pharmacies from the perspective of governance and comparative policy analysis, in the form of Standards and Guidelines that underpin the Brussels Principles. The goal of the organizers and Dr. Ahmad and Dr. Kohler’s research agenda is to move beyond the Principles to drafting standards and model legislation; the purpose of the IGF Berlin 2019 Workshop, however, will be to engage stakeholders and civil society in a larger discussion about appropriate governance practices that incorporate digital inclusion (in its broadest definition) and consumer safety, appropriately meeting critical needs of internet users today and into the future. The panelists will also detail the substantive policy decisions that have been developed, including the impact these policies will have on consumers and the online pharmacy marketplace. The third segment of the Workshop is committed to summing up the views expressed by participants, with clear identification of suggested outcomes and next steps. The moderator will manage the discussion in a manner that encourages engagement and interactivity both with those that are participating in the room and online.