Back in 2008, Consumer Reports recommended PharmacyChecker to Americans looking to save money on prescription drugs at foreign pharmacies. An article in the Los Angeles Times stated: “Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs advises checking online prices, for U.S. and foreign pharmacies, at pharmacychecker.com.”
That was then. This is now.
When Consumer Reports’ Lisa Gill testified before the Senate
Special Committee on Aging hearing on drug prices last week, she was silent
in her prepared remarks about what she knows well: millions of Americans,
readers of Consumer Reports, buy medicine online internationally. Her silence
did not surprise me because Consumer Reports does not currently recommend
buying medicine online from Canada or other countries, although many of its
readers believe it should.
From time to time, we participate in the public policy process by submitting public comments to government agencies requesting them. In May of this year, after introducing the Trump administration’s blue print plan for lowering drug prices, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) asked the public to comment on the Trump administration plan and/or make recommendations for lowering drug prices and out-of-pocket prescription costs.
I submitted comments that were laser-focused on PharmacyChecker’s area of greatest expertise, personal drug importation and online pharmacies. My comments clarify why and how properly-verified, international online pharmacies are a lifeline of safe and affordable medicines for Americans.
The basic recommendations offered in the comments are below:
Under Section 804 (j) of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, the Secretary of Health and Human Services should expressly permit medicine imports for personal use to empower patients seeking affordable medication.
Per the above, implement the Australian model of making personal drug importation legal with caveats to prohibit personal use imports of controlled drugs, especially prescription narcotics.
The FDA should end its blanket warning against ordering medicines online, imported for personal use from pharmacies in Canada and other countries, and instead provide guidance on best practices for those who choose to import.
The FDA should stop seizing personal imports of non-controlled medicines arriving from pharmacies that the FDA knows are licensed and require valid prescriptions.
The FDA should take no enforcement actions against international online pharmacies that it has reason to believe are the safest international options available to Americans and instead focus on those that represent the gravest threats, particularly ones that sell prescription narcotics.
Affordable medication exists. The only thing stopping the savvy consumer from obtaining affordable, safe medication is the tangled myth surrounding online pharmacy.
Are Overseas Pharmacies Unsafe and Illegal?
Yes and No. Despite wild hyperbole of the dangers of shopping for medication online that consumers are doomed to encounter in the Internet echo chamber (brought to you by BIG PHRMA), Money Talks knows that “there are ways to check online pharmacy sources for their safety.” Their reporting is a breath of fresh air: They correctly point out that just because the news focuses on counterfeit medications sold online, “doesn’t mean you need to rule out overseas pharmacies altogether.” That’s where we come in!
PharmacyChecker.com is recommended as a valuable resource for vetting online pharmacies Online pharmacies verified by PharmacyChecker.com are considered reliable, licensed, and are certain to require a prescription and sell genuine, effective medication.
What about the law? Will the government “bust you” for importing medication for your own use? Money Talks News contacted the FDA. The FDA’s response informed that they are not aware of actions taken against individuals. We’ve known that for 15 years but it’s nice to hear it again.
The greed of pharmaceutical companies has become overbearing: not only their price gouging, but rampant public relations and lobbying campaigns attempt to muzzle the majority of Americans who demand lower drug prices.
I’m from a small town outside of Houston, Texas called Wallis. To my New Yorker friends, Wallis may appear “rural,” but, with a trip downtown clocking in at 35 minutes on sprawling Texas tollways, it’s not exactly that far from essential medication, not to mention some of the nation’s best hospitals. Despite slipping in some not-so-sneaky boasting, I’m concerned about the millions of Americans who live in rural areas who cannot access the prescription medications they need.
For years, rural residents in the U.S. have faced even greater obstacles to health care than their urban friends, and that includes problems (more…)
Properly Verified International Online Pharmacies Sell Genuine and Safe Medication
Last month, Roger Bate, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and head of the Safe Medicines Coalition, published the results of a study which tested and compared the quality of drugs purchased from online pharmacies in the U.S. and abroad, including pharmacies verified by third-parties and those not verified. The findings were clear: PharmacyChecker-approved international online pharmacies sell medications of comparable quality to U.S. online pharmacies verified by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) and LegitScript.
In fact, overall, the results were better for PharmacyChecker-verified pharmacies than for those verified by NABP and LegitScript. Results were dramatically worse for pharmacies with no third-party verification. The drug testing focused on generic versions of Lipitor (atorvastatin) and of generic Cipro (ciprofloxacin), which were ordered from the online pharmacies by the researchers. (more…)