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Table 1 Fundamentals of UNODC-IGF e-health governance on cybercrime

From: Pharmaceutical digital marketing and governance: illicit actors and challenges to global patient safety and public health

Area of focus Description Goals Activities
e-Health security Dynamic Coalition Working Group (DCWG) in IGF comprised of stakeholders from public health, information technology and law enforcement communities. Develop a “best practices” or similar agreed upon set of recommendations regarding Internet security and access specifically tailored to needs of global public health and regulating Internet pharmacies. Development of a living document that should be revisited as experience in cybercrime grows in the health sector. The primary issue for this working group to address is ensuring patients with safe and quality access to health information and services online, including appropriately regulating eDTCA and Internet pharmacies.
Global e-Health diplomacy Development of special Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) of IGF with permanent membership that advises the UN Secretary General on issues of cybercrime and health. UNODC-IGF MAG would raise awareness and engage in health diplomacy regarding currently unaddressed areas of transnational cybercrime involving health, specifically emphasizing cybercrime and public health risks of illicit online pharmacies. MAG should participate in and advocate for e-Health Governance issues in future WSIS regional preparatory meetings, WSIS + 10 High Level Meeting in 2014, and Overall Review of the Implementation of WSIS Outcomes in 2015, focusing on the serious public health and cybersecurity concerns from illicit online pharmacies.
Public-private partnership models Development of a structured mechanism to engage multiple public and private stakeholders to form public-private partnership (PPP) models addressing cybercrime and health in WSIS and IGF. Creation and investment in PPP pilot projects specifically addressing cybercrime perpetrated by illicit online pharmacies. Active participation of UNODC, Interpol, WHO, the branded and generic pharmaceutical and wholesaler industries, the Internet service sector, patient safety and medical professional societies, as well as other stakeholders should be sought from onset. PPPs in global health have come under scrutiny regarding the need for transparency and mitigating conflicts of interest. However, PPPs in Internet governance have generally not been subject to the same scrutiny as private sector participation is essential and necessary in the operation and maintenance of the Internet. Hence, PPPs in the Internet governance fora that focus on cybercrime can provide a sustained pathway for collective action/enforcement and continued investment.
Health information credentialing for consumers DCWG or MAG will review and explore the merits of existing online credentialing systems for online pharmacies. Development and deployment of a globally harmonized credentialing system that is easy for consumers to understand and use for purposes of purchasing medications online. The NABP VIPPS program as well as proposed EU systems should be assessed and determination of a potential global standard considered. Use of other third party Internet surveillance companies should also be explored. Other alternatives that promote easy consumer verification of legitimate entities should also be explored such as creation of monitored and accredited generic top-level-domain names and investment in programs to increase digital health literacy.
Cybercrime tools DCWG and PPPs jointly working together to develop technical capacity and necessary tools for cybercrime surveillance, prevention and enforcement against illicit online pharmacies. Because of its unique technical expertise regarding Internet governance and transnational organized crime, UNODC-IGF should identify and incorporate current global IT surveillance, prevention, communication and enforcement strategies into effective tools against illicit online pharmacies. Joint development of technologies to proactively detect and remove online content using web crawlers/spiders, anti-spam filters, IP blocking, suspension of electronic financial transactions/processing, domain name server monitoring and surveillance, fraud detection tools, as well as other strategies to combat illicit online pharmacies and their fraudulent eDTCA marketing.