Amazon Pharmacy recently registered trademarks in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom but has not announced its stated plans for these registrations. For those of you who did not know that there is an Amazon Pharmacy, now you do. Amazon acquired online pharmacy PillPack in 2018 as part of its push into pharmaceutical sales. Pillpack specializes in the delivery of prescription drug orders in specially-tailored packages to meet the individual needs of patients. In its own words: “Our claim to fame is delivering medications pre-sorted into packets by time of day. And we’re very good at that.” As of the end of last year, Amazon began branding PillPack-related information with “Amazon Pharmacy.” Also noteworthy is that prior to its acquisition of PillPack, Amazon started to quietly obtain wholesale pharmacy licenses.(more…)
The company Blink Health is advertising Canadian drugs on Google, even though it does not sell medication from Canadian pharmacies. Should the company do that? Is that false advertising?
Launched in early 2016, Blink Health offers consumers the ability to purchase prescription medicines from its app or website and pick them up from local pharmacies in their neighborhoods. This distinguishes them other drug price comparison leaders that offer pharmacy discount cards and coupons for U.S. pharmacies – ours is called the PharmacyChecker Discount Card. Since Blink Health’s launch, several similar services have sprouted, most notably Capsule, which launched in my hometown.
As I understand it, the firm’s goal is to find and increase discounts as it develops greater buying power through greater volumes, also known as economies of scale. I like it and it’s my hope – and belief – that Blink Health is saving people money on their generics. So, hats off to you, Blink Health.
But it’s kind of aggravating that, as I see it, Blink Health is fooling consumers who are looking for lower cost prescription drugs from Canada who will likely not get what they’re looking for when they click that ad. Brand drugs cost way more at Blink Health than in Canada.(more…)Tagged with: Blink Health
This post is mostly a story about a very well manufactured, safe and effective, foreign version of an FDA-approved drug. These drugs are normally far less expensive than the FDA-approved version sold in the U.S. and arguably just as safe. The FDA can prevent the importation of such drugs – but the agency is actually encouraged by law not to do so if the import is for personal use only. It’s also a story about consumers and their providers navigating conflicting public information about buying less expensive medicines online from foreign countries.
A friend of mine, who has very difficult to control cholesterol, was prescribed Livalo, an FDA-approved brand of the drug pitavastatin. Let’s call him John. With his insurance, Livalo still costs John about $310 for a three-month supply – about 90 pills. He doesn’t want to pay that much if he can help it. John knows about our company, PharmacyChecker. He went to our site to discover that brand-name Livalo (pitavastatin) costs only $90 for a three-month supply at the lowest-cost PharmacyChecker-accredited international online pharmacy: a savings of 71%. That wasn’t enough to convince John to move forward with the purchase. Why not? That brand-name pitavastatin, sold in Turkey, is sold under the name Alipza – not Livalo.(more…)Tagged with: Alipza, livalo
The FDA has drafted a proposed rule to facilitate wholesale importation of lower-cost drugs from Canada, pursuant to Section 804 of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. Importation from Canada is legal under this section of U.S. law, but only if the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) certifies, as stated in Part L, that such importation would pose “no additional risk” to the public and would help save the American consumer money. It’s a major milestone that the FDA is willing to and on the cusp of finally providing that certification – but that’s only for wholesale importation. What about personal drug importation? Wholesale drug importation is when people or companies import drugs for re-sale, usually described as commercial quantities. Personal drug importation is when a consumer fills a prescription in Canada or another country and imports it either carrying it across the border or through the mail.
Section 804, as clearly stated in Part J (1), treats personal drug importation differently, and this is of paramount importance for policymakers and the general public to understand. Section 804 doesn’t legalize it across the board but affirms that Americans should be permitted to import prescription drugs for personal use, as long as it doesn’t represent an “unreasonable risk” to the patient. This more liberal standard is fundamentally different from Part L of Section 804, which mandates “no additional risk” to the public health, the standard necessary for the overall section to become effective. Where does that leave us in terms of law and policy?(more…)
Investing In The U.S. Health System By Lowering Drug Prices, Reducing, Out-of-Pocket Costs and Improving the Medicare Benefit
The following statement, recently published in the Congressional Record, was submitted by Gabriel Levitt on October 30, 2019, on behalf of PharmacyChecker and Prescription Justice, to the Committee on Ways and Means of the U.S. House of Representatives 116th Congress pertaining to a hearing entitled: “Investing In The U.S. Health System By Lowering Drug Prices, Reducing, Out-of-Pocket Costs and Improving the Medicare Benefit”.
“Investing In The U.S. Health System By Lowering Drug Prices, Reducing, Out-of-Pocket Costs and Improving the Medicare Benefit”
October 29, 2019
Co-founder and President, PharmacyChecker.com, 333 Mamaroneck Avenue, White Plains, NY 10605, 718-554-3067, firstname.lastname@example.org
Founder and President, Prescription Justice, 3309 Robbins Road, #412, Springfield, Illinois 62704, email@example.com
Our company, PharmacyChecker.com verifies online pharmacies, and compares drug prices among those accredited in our online pharmacy Verification Program. Consumers, Americans and worldwide, access our website for free. Our website has received about 30 million visitors since we launched our virtual doors in 2003. Our niche is comparative pricing and the proper credentialing of international online pharmacies, which process prescription drug orders filled by licensed pharmacies in several countries, require valid prescriptions, and do not ship controlled drugs into the U.S. We also provide information about discounted U.S. pharmacy prices and patient assistance programs. The information we provide helps people make the best decisions for themselves and their families when struggling with the cost of prescription drugs.[i](more…)Tagged with: Congressional House Ways and Means Committee
Trump Administration Announces FDA-Proposed Rule and Guidance to Allow Prescription Drug Importation
The FDA has done something that prescription drug importation advocates had possibly given up on. Not me. The agency drafted a new proposed rule to allow importation from Canada of lower-cost drugs and industry guidance for drug manufacturers to import their FDA-approved foreign drug versions, for which they can charge lower prices. The proposed rule provides specifics so that states contemplating or already formulating wholesale drug importation programs have a shot at gaining approval for those programs, per Section 804 of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
Year after year after year, the media has reported Pharma’s talking point: No Secretary of Health and Human Services, Republican or Democrat, has been able to certify the safety of importation from Canada. That’s never been true, at least not exactly. It’s not that they haven’t been able. It’s that they haven’t been willing. Also, it’s not just certifying the safety, it’s certifying that there will be “no additional” safety risk – a high standard. Well, apparently it can be done. The FDA stated:(more…)Tagged with: Drug and Cosmetic Act