FDA pushes social media sites to do more to curb opioid sales

April 9, 2018

During his speech at the National Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced that the agency will be inviting internet company leaders to a summit to discuss potential solutions to the tech industry's role in the U.S. opioid crisis.

According to Gottlieb, the FDA is concerned about the role social media companies and internet service providers are playing in the online sale of opioids. The agency has found offers to purchase drugs on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, Google, Yahoo and Bing.

At the proposed summit, the agency plans to bring together tech executives, academics and advocacy groups in order to facilitate a discussion about current gaps in technology and work to reduce opioid availability online.

Have companies have already started taking action — Instagram (parent-company Facebook) has started blocking certain hashtags related to drugs.

Read the Bloomberg coverage