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!
At the time we filed the lawsuit, the NABP’s website referred to sites on that list as ones that “put you and your family at risk.” NABP ratcheted this up a notch last week by relaunching the site and stating that all the sites on the list are “unsafe.” Of course, our sites are not risky or unsafe and there is no evidence that would suggest otherwise. But we allege that being on this NABP’s “Not Recommended Sites” list caused 1) our sites to sink precipitously in Google search rankings; and 2) a Warning to be applied to our pages when they appear in Bing search results: a warning that also blocks the link to our site and redirects users to NABP’s VIPPS verification program, which, unlike our PharmacyChecker Verification Program, does not accredit licensed pharmacies located outside the U.S. that dispense prescription drugs to patients in the U.S.
We knew going in that a preliminary injunction is an extraordinary measure with extremely high hurdles. Unfortunately, the injunction was not granted. But this was one battle, and we have many more ahead in our fight to ensure patients have access to information about safe online pharmacies that can lower drug costs.
I’m happy to say that on the morning of the court hearing, a new paper published by the American Enterprise Institute articulated why personal drug importation from properly accredited online pharmacies is exceedingly safe, and why the actions of those trying to suppress it are what is truly unsafe. The truth is worth fighting for.Tagged with: Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies, Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies, LegitScript, NABP, Partnership for Safe Medicines, VIPPS