Facebook, Google and other tech giants meet to tackle online opioid sales

Patient care software and telehealth software are facilitating healthcare but, technology poses its own challenges. Federal regulators have turned to Facebook, Google and other technology giants to control illegal online opioid sales.

It's easy to find drugs online and this is being blamed for a surge in deaths from overdoses. The Food and Drug Administration is hosting a summit with Facebook, Instagram, Microsoft’s Bing, Google, Alibaba, Twitter along with federal agencies and advocacy groups, to find out ways to combat this problem.

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Online sales have moved beyond sites like “Silk Road” to social media sites, search engines and this has led to a dramatic rise in illicit sales. More than 63,000 people died from overdoses last year amounting to 21% increase from previous year, according to the data provided by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

The White House has declared that opioid epidemic is a public health emergency. Federal health officials believe that it has led to the lowering of U.S. life expectancy. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said that many consumers think they are buying pain pills. But, in reality, they are getting a deadly form of pressed fentanyl.