Yesterday, I was asked by Ed Silverman of STAT NEWS’ Pharmalot for my thoughts about a report by the Office of Inspector General, Department of Health and Human Services (OIG). The report is an audit of companies in the drug supply chain to test compliance with regulations called for by the Drug Supply Chain Security Act of 2013 (DSCSA). In short, as reported in STAT, OIG found that seven out of 44 drugs audited could not be traced back to the manufacturer in the manner required under the DSCSA. Add to that, the physical locations of 21 drugs could not be determined. Since most drugs subject to DSCSA are made overseas and imported, Mr. Silverman wanted to know if this audit impacted drug importation proposals and plans in the works to lower drug prices. The answer is probably no. The report appears to be a worthwhile effort to test compliance with DSCSA. However, use of the word “legitimate” is found in the DSCSA, and that word is often misused by opponents of drug importation and international online pharmacies – and that got me thinking. I’m sick of that word.(more…)Tagged with: ed silverman, Eliquis, LegitScript, NABP, OIG
PharmacyChecker has proudly announced a new online pharmacy verification tool to make it easier for consumers to determine if a website is safe and accredited through the PharmacyChecker Verification Program. This verification portal can benefit patients, health care providers and caregivers considering lower-cost retail pharmacy options in Canada and other countries.
As we emphasized in our press release about the new portal, pharma-funded initiatives, like the
“.Pharmacy Program” of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP), do not help Americans seeking lower-cost and safe medicine from Canada and other countries. The NABP advises Americans not to buy and import medication. The stated intent of the NABP’s “.Pharmacy Program” is to help consumers find “legitimate” online pharmacies, which are ones that have registered a “.pharmacy” domain (e.g., Walgreens.pharmacy, Kroger.pharmacy, Walmart.pharmacy). Such household name U.S. online pharmacies are usually ones approved in the NABP’s Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS) program.
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.(more…)Tagged with: American Enterprise Institute, Consumer Reports
PharmacyChecker Submits Public Comments to HHS Focused on Internet Purchases of Medicines for Personal Import
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.Big Pharma, Consumer Safety Tips, illegal online pharmacies, Money Talks News
PharmacyChecker.com is proud of the work we do to advocate for your access to affordable medication, and we welcome you, your sister, and your sister’s husband’s cousin to join us!
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.Advocacy, Drug Prices, Lower Drug Prices