PharmacyChecker Blog

Helping Americans Get The Truth About Prescription Drug Savings
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Americans Don’t Buy Safe and Affordable Medication Online Out of Fear and the Law: Sad

According to a Zogby Poll (see graphic) conducted in February of this year, 31.6% of Americans who said they have never ordered a medication online from another country cited fear of substandard drugs. Another 32.3% cited the law restricting the practice. Most often (44%) people said they preferred to get medication from local pharmacists, which I liked – but I’m aware that for that group affordability was less of an issue.

What bothers me is that out of the 45 million Americans who did not fill a prescription in 2016 due to cost, how many would have been able to if educated properly about safe international online pharmacies or if the law was more permissive? (more…)

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Congressman James Greenwood Was Right on Prescription Drug Importation

Who are you representing?

In 2001, in a Wall Street Journal article called “Survey Shows U.S. Customs Allows Illegal Foreign Medication,” then Congressman James Greenwood (R-PA) expressed his belief that Americans who import medications, even illegally, for their own use, should be able to. As president and chief executive of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), which represents leading biopharmaceutical companies (such as Abbvie, Amgen, Celgene, and Gilead), he has changed his tune.

Flashback to 2001…

Congressman Greenwood, who chaired the House Commerce oversight committee, stuck up for cash strapped older Americans. Congressman Greenwood said:

“While we would like to stop dangerous drugs from being brought in for abuse and stop people from getting drugs that are counterfeit or bogus, we don’t want to interfere … with an older person getting a better buy.”

He was referring to Americans importing small quantities of non-controlled, prescription drugs for their own use because they cost a lot less money than at U.S. pharmacies.

Fast forward to 2017… (more…)

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Former U.S. FDA Commissioner Says 29 Countries Have Pharmaceutical Regulatory Systems Comparable to U.S.

Something unexpected happened at a dog and pony show staged at the National Press Club on April 4, where the Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM) gave its campaign against prescription drug importation and international online pharmacies the imprimatur of technocratic expertise. Former FDA Commissioner Dr. Andrew Von Eschenbach, in opposing importation as unsafe, and “frightening” said that 29 countries have regulatory systems for drug safety comparable to the U.S. Was that a mistake? No. We need to get that list of 29 countries and create standards for distribution and refine guidance for consumers to help more Americans import lower cost medications from those countries.

I derived the number 29 because Dr. Eschenbach said: “of the 96 countries around the world that can supply drugs only 30% have a functional regulatory infrastructure that’s comparable to the one that we have at the Food and Drug Administration.” Simple math showed 30% of 96 is 28.8. I rounded to 29!

Granted, Dr. Eschenbach would say that I was taking his words out of context. (more…)

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PharmacyChecker.com Recommended by Leading Healthcare Expert, Elisabeth Rosenthal, MD

A new book about our ailing healthcare system.

In her new book, American Sickness, Elisabeth Rosenthal, MD, an award-winning journalist, currently chief editor of Kaiser Health News, and formerly with the New York Times, recommends visiting PharmacyChecker.com to consumers who choose to import more affordable medications for themselves or their family members via online pharmacies.

In general, Ms. Rosenthal’s book explains why our healthcare system is such a mess in terms of consumer and government costs; who is responsible; how we can make things better – and most importantly – what consumers can do NOW to take on the special interests and save money. It’s a great book for citizens, healthcare advocates and policy makers who want a deeper understanding of what ails our healthcare system. (more…)

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John Horton Keeps Trying to Make “Canadian” Pharmacies and PharmacyChecker Look Bad

The head of LegitScript.com, John Horton, likes to falsely claim that PharmacyChecker “pretends” that international online pharmacies are “just Canadian” when they “really” sell drugs from other countries. The only one pretending, as usual, is Mr. Horton.

To offer the most affordable prices, online pharmacies in Canada give consumers the option to have prescriptions filled not only by licensed pharmacies in Canada, but by licensed pharmacies following similarly strict pharmacy practices in other countries with even lower drug prices. We believe this is in the consumer’s best interest and we have said so many times, including  a news release in 2004 and a blog post called “So You Want to Buy Medication from An Actual Canadian Pharmacy, Here’s the Deal…

To be sure this is done properly, the online pharmacies verified by PharmacyChecker must disclose to us all partner pharmacies — as we must check and verify their credentials — and the online pharmacies are required to let consumers know, ahead of time, the country from which their medications will be dispensed. Furthermore, our listing of PharmacyChecker.com Verified Online Pharmacies includes the names of the countries from which each online pharmacy dispenses prescription medications.

Of course, there are many rogue pharmacies to watch out for that claim to be Canadian, or even American, but don’t require a prescription, and are not verified for any standards by any organization. We should all work together to protect consumers from such rogues, not fool Americans into believing that safe international online pharmacies don’t exist – which appears to be the approach favored by Mr. Horton, LegitScript, and Pharma-funded groups.

We assume that John Horton and his big pharma allies and shills will continue to attack us because of our continuing efforts to verify and identify the safest international online pharmacies, advocate for safe personal drug importation, reveal pharma’s scare tactics and expose their lies. We can deal with that. It’s just a shame that they do it at the expense of Americans who need affordable medication but may be scared away from the reliable pharmacies that are available.

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RightsCon Panel Defends Internet Access to Affordable Medication

RightsCon: Defending consumer rights to affordable medication on the Internet (left to right: Gabriel Levitt, Jeremy Malcom, Andrew Goldman, Burcu Kilic, Paul Zickler)

Defending consumer rights to affordable medication on the Internet (left to right: Gabriel Levitt, Jeremy Malcom, Andrew Goldman, Burcu Kilic, Paul Zickler)

Access to medicines and Internet rights advocates came together yesterday for a panel at the RightsCon conference in Brussels, Belgium, to discuss the importance of, and threats to, online access to safe and affordable medication. In my capacities as president of PharmacyChecker.com and founder of Prescription Justice, I submitted the concept for this panel to RightsCon, a conference that focuses on issues relating to human rights and the Internet, such as freedom of expression, curbing violent extremism, and privacy and data protection.

The panel included Jeremy Malcolm, Electronic Frontier Foundation; Andrew Goldman, Knowledge Ecology International; Burcu Kilic, Public Citizen; Paul Zickler, Canadian International Pharmacy Association, and Gabriel Levitt. We came together to push back against the pharmaceutical industry’s attempts to control what is and is not permissible on the Internet when it comes to medication sales and the importation of prescription drugs for personal use.

My presentation’s focus was on the tens of millions of Americans who are struggling to afford medication and how the Internet provides them with access to lower cost medication imported for personal use. I will follow-up with a more detailed report on the panel discussions and a workshop that followed, where we drafted a Statement of Principles for the online sale of medication, one inspired by the belief that access to affordable medications is an essential component to the fundamental human right to health.

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