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Online Pharmacies, Personal Drug Importation, and Public Health: Industry Dominance of “Stakeholders” Consulted by GAO

Continuing our quest to get the truth out and for our elected leaders in Congress to take bold action to protect online access to safe and affordable medication, we’re publishing a section a week of our report called Online Pharmacies, Personal Drug Importation, and Public Health. The Government Accountability Office Report on Internet pharmacies, which we’ve attested contains inaccuracies and is misleading about buying medication online, clearly relied heavily on pharmaceutical industry sources. Here’s how:

Some pharmaceutical companies, including many members of the PhRMA, view foreign online pharmacies as a commercial threat because Americans are able to obtain medications at lower prices leading to lower profits. The U.S. pharmacy industry views non-U.S. online pharmacies as unfair competition because the latter can charge lower prices. Many of the groups identified by GAO as stakeholders are drug companies and U.S. pharmacies or groups that they fund, including the following groups:

  1. Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies
  2. International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition
  3. National Association of Boards of Pharmacy Pharmacies
  4. National Association of Chain Drug Stores
  5. National Community Pharmacists Association
  6. Partnership for Safe Medicines
  7. Pharmaceutical Security Institute
  8. PhRMA

Of the 35 stakeholder groups identified by GAO, at least 33% (13) are pharmaceutical companies or groups that receive funding by pharmaceutical companies or U.S. pharmacies. Another stakeholder is the Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies (CSIP), as are eight of its member companies. CSIP is a private consortium of businesses formed in response to pressure by the White House Office of the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, which mostly operates as another voice and information clearinghouse for the other stakeholders listed. Three associations representing U.S. pharmacy boards and pharmacies are listed above.


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LegitScript – Not So Legit?

A firm called Legit Script ( claims to be protecting people by labeling legitimate Canadian and other non-U.S. pharmacies as “Unapproved” or “Rogue.”  This serves the big pharmaceutical interests but not the American consumer. More than that, its founder, John Horton, appears to have exploited his former government position to establish for his own gain. (more…)

Tagged with: , , , , , , – Scaring the public away from safe and affordable medicine as The Partnership for Safe Medicines

Fronting for the pharmaceutical industry, The Partnership for Safe Medicines, which has a website at, is an avowed foe of personal drug importation. A popular tactic of this group is mixing legitimate concerns over drug counterfeiting with unwarranted warnings about the safety of buying drugs from pharmacies in Canada and other countries. Here’s what we know about The Partnership, starting with who runs it. (more…)

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