PharmacyChecker Blog

Helping Americans Get The Truth About Prescription Drug Savings
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A Bittersweet Day: PharmacyChecker vs. Big Pharma

As I wrote a few weeks back, PharmacyChecker filed an antitrust lawsuit against five organizations that we believe are largely funded or backed by pharmaceutical companies. We allege that these organizations have conspired to illegally suppress competition in the areas of online pharmacy verification services and drug price comparisons on the Internet. The organizations are the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP), Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP), Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM), LegitScript, and the Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies (CSIP).

As part of that suit, we filed a motion for preliminary injunction to immediately stop the NABP from including PharmacyChecker.com and this blogsite on its “Not Recommended Sites” list. That list was created to ostensibly identify rogue online pharmacies but has included safe international online pharmacies from its very inception. More recently NABP’s oversight has been expanded, apparently, to also include sites—such as this blog—that help consumers avoid rogue online pharmacies and find affordable drug prices!

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Top Economist Says the FDA Should be Identifying Safe Foreign Pharmacies to Solve High Drug Prices in America

Economics

Stephen Salant, PhD, professor emeritus of economics at the University of Michigan and research professor at the University of Maryland has written a paper that I believe gives voice and pays respect to the millions of Americans who import or are on the verge of importing lower-cost medication using online pharmacies. Let me be clear: this guy is a world-renowned economist. An expert in applied microeconomics, Professor Salant is most famous for his work in the economics of natural resources and industrial organization. Over the past few years, he has turned his attention to the problem of high drug prices in America and how to solve it without decreasing investment in research and development to create new life-saving drugs.

I’ll articulate the basic points of Salant’s paper, as I understand them, and then give some commentary.  

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Opioid Dealer Johnson & Johnson Fined $572 Mil for Contributing to 6,000 American Deaths

Johnson & Johnson Opioid Crisis

This week was a breakthrough for holding accountable the pharmaceutical industry for fueling the opioid crisis, which is responsible for approximately 400,000 deaths in the U.S. alone. In a landmark ruling, a judge in Oklahoma fined Johnson & Johnson $572 million for deceptive and aggressive marketing practices of opioid drugs that contributed to 6,000 deaths in that state. State prosecutors were successful by charging the drug company under laws relating to “public nuisances.” To remedy and remove the nuisance, the fine will go toward treatment, education and prevention programs related to opioid drugs. This resonates powerfully with me because, for years, I’ve observed how the drug industry abused the opioid crisis as a lobbying and public relations tool against prescription drug importation and to crack down against safe international online pharmacies, and even against PharmacyChecker. It has done so through its own trade associations and companies and by funding organizations to do their bidding.

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Google and Bing doing Big Pharma’s dirty work? Sign this petition to #StopBigPharma

Big Pharma censorship
Sign the petition to #StopBigPharma

Increasingly frustrated with the state of drug costs in the U.S., millions of Americans have found refuge in ordering necessary prescription medications online from Canadian or other international pharmacies for roughly a tenth the cost of those at their local Walgreens, CVS, or other pharmacy.

For many years, consumers have been relieved to find the international savings option after a simple search on Google or Bing. Among top search results for the words “online pharmacies,” there was a list of the safest international online pharmacies that sell to consumers in the U.S. and also facts about the benefits and risks of online pharmacies, including obtaining lower cost medication from licensed pharmacies abroad. That is, until recently.

Unfortunately, we know that Google and Bing are working with Big Pharma funded groups and programs. We believe this has led to censorship of affordable medication access on the Internet.

So, we’ve also started a petition to #StopBigPharma.

Stop Big Pharma
Join Roger. Sign the petition to #StopBigPharma

Americans used to be given a fair chance to research all options for savings on their prescription medications.

But now? Now, things look a little different.

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PharmacyChecker vs. Big Pharma Front Groups and Allies

Americans overwhelmingly believe that drug prices are unreasonably high in our country. Millions have looked to the Internet to find lower drug prices at pharmacies in other countries, many because they have no other choice. For over 16 years, PharmacyChecker has provided online pharmacy verification and drug price comparison information to help these people. As I’ve written about for years, the drug companies and U.S. pharmacy corporations don’t like this and take actions to make it stop.

PharmacyChecker has filed a lawsuit against organizations and companies that we allege are illegally conspiring to “to choke off information about personal importation of affordable prescription medications from regulated, reputable pharmacies in Canada and elsewhere overseas.”

The defendants in the case are the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP), LegitScript, Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP), Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies (CSIP), and the Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM). We allege that they have directly and illegally targeted PharmacyChecker.com.

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Grassley’s History of Safe Drug Importation Support

This week, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) sent a letter to the Secretary of Health and Human Services and FDA Commissioner declaring support for the Trump administration’s drug importation plan but warning about the need to up our game inspecting foreign drug manufacturing establishments. Grassley cautioned that the U.S. must ensure new imports are properly tracked and traced within the supply chain. While there are some details in Grassley’s recently stated position that are a bit blurry, the essence of what the senator is saying is very good. We can use global trade to force down prices on prescription drugs in the U.S. while continuing to work on and improve the safety of our already-existing global pharmaceutical supply.

Senator Grassley has vociferously supported drug importation for a long time. As reported in The Hill in 2012, he was intensely critical of President Obama for going back on his 2008 campaign promise to support dug importation:

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