Yes. Last week, the four most recent commissioners of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sent an open letter to Congress declaring that an importation bill, The Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act, introduced by Senators Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, and Bob Casey, if passed, would jeopardize consumer safety. The bill, as described here, provides for an extensive oversight role for the FDA to help individuals and pharmacies import lower cost medications from Canada.
Don’t get me wrong: the former FDA leaders make pertinent points about regulatory issues implicated in reforming our importation laws, which should be noted – and then used to implement new regulations to expand importation from Canada – not used to pretend safe importation is impossible.
Thankfully, when the Washington Post covered this last week, they included something I said to the reporter: “The Internet has been a lifeline of affordable medicines, imported for personal use by using safe international online pharmacies that require valid prescriptions…” And if I had more to say…
People at FDA know about the peer-reviewed research on Internet pharmacies led by Roger Bate. Through testing medications, online pharmacy practices and surveys of consumers, that research has been quite definitive in showing that personal drug importation via properly credentialed online pharmacies, including ones approved by PharmacyCheckcer.com, is safe.
But the letter at issue here reads: “Americans who currently use the internet to purchase drugs from outside the U.S. are likely receiving medicines that are either of substandard quality, adulterated, or fake.” That statement might instill fear in the hearts of consumers and lawmakers but if read carefully, it should lead them to recognize risks but not ignore benefits to buying lower cost medication online. Let’s deconstruct that statement.
“Americans.” That can mean two people or two million people.
“currently use the internet to purchase drugs from outside the U.S.” That’s straight up.
“are likely” – may or may not, but probably are,
“receiving medicines that are either of substandard quality, adulterated, or fake.” Got that.
Translation: Some Americans are likely buying bad medications online from other countries. Well that’s true. In contrast, according to real data, Americans who are buying medication over the Internet from foreign countries using credentialed online pharmacies are almost certainly getting real, safe and effective – and much lower cost -prescription drugs. Facts are facts.
But don’t take it from me, take it from the over 2000 people who shared their opinion and experiences about NEEDING to find lower drug prices internationally to protect their health. On that note, President Trump can and should use his executive Authority to expressly permit personal drug importation from verified online pharmacies.Tagged with: FDA, letter to congress, Roger Bate, sanders