Today we asked the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and any other appropriate government agencies to investigate possible violations of government ethics laws by John Horton, president and founder of LegitScript.com, while he was Associate Deputy Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and after leaving his government post.
Our request was sent to Committee Chairman Edolphus Towns and Ranking Member Darrell Issa.
Mr. Horton appears to have misused and abused his government position for private gain by starting, while in office, an online pharmacy verification service, LegitScript.com, and given unfair market advantage to his business. More importantly, his actions appear to have violated the will of Congress, misled the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and instigated and/or encouraged government actions by ONDCP and other government agencies adverse to the interests of Americans, specifically hindering access by Americans to safe and affordable medication.
As further described in our letter, we believe that, to serve his private interests and those of prospective pharmaceutical and pharmacy clients, Mr. Horton appears to have subverted the activities of ONDCP by ignoring the congressional request found in Section 1107 of the Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 2006 to develop strategies to stop the online advertising of controlled substances without a prescription. Instead, Mr. Horton developed strategic policies for blocking the online advertising of all prescription medication from licensed Canadian and other non-US pharmacies that do require a prescription. Such pharmacies have been a lifeline to affordable medication for millions of Americans.
Click here to read the full request and view supporting exhibits.
Tagged with: committee on oversight and government reform, government ethics violations, investigation, john horton, LegitScript, ONDCP
The LegitScript network of “approved” online pharmacies includes connections to rogue pharmacies, although this is something that LegitScript prefers not to disclose. In 2008, Cardinal Health, which has a number of LegitScript-approved Internet Pharmacies within its retail network, paid a settlement of $34 million to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration for allegedly shipping controlled substances to illegitimate online pharmacies. According to then DEA Acting Administrator Michele M. Leonhart:
“Cardinal’s negligent conduct contributed to our nation’s serious pharmaceutical abuse problem. This substantial civil penalty underscores DEA’s determination to prevent pharmaceutical diversion and protect the public health and safety by continuing to hold companies responsible if they fail to fulfill their obligations under the Controlled Substance Act.”
Tagged with: Cardinal Health Network, controlled substances, Counterfeit Drugs, LegitScript, Online Pharmacies, Online Pharmacy Verification Services, pharmaceutical companies, rogue pharmacies
A new group called the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (www.safeonilnerx.com) is working to prevent access to safe and affordable online pharmacies (Also see our article about a deceptive news release published by this group). Its membership and “observers” include the usual pharmacy, pharma and pharma-front groups: American Pharmacists Association, Eli Lilly & Company, LegitScript.com, National Association of Chain Drugstores, National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP), National Health Council, and the Partnership for Safe Medicines.
The group’s stated mission is “to protect patient safety and ensure patient access to safe and legitimate online pharmacies in accordance with U.S. laws.” The unstated premise is that since it is technically illegal for Americans to personally import medication from abroad, only U.S. pharmacies (i.e., those that are members of its own member organizations) are in accordance with U.S. laws. (more…)
Tagged with: Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies, LegitScript.com, NABP, Online Pharmacies, Online Pharmacy Verification Services, personal drug importation, SafeMedicines.org, safeonlinerx.com
A firm called Legit Script (LegitScript.com) 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 LegitScript.com for his own gain. (more…)
Tagged with: Legit Script, LegitScript, Office of National Drug Control Policy, ONDCP, Online Pharmacies, phrma, VIPPS
[2019 UPDATE: Read our letter to Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM), calling them out on what we believe is their continuing smear campaign against PharmacyChecker.]
Fronting for the pharmaceutical industry, The Partnership for Safe Medicines, which has a website at www.SafeMedicines.org, 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…)Tagged with: Bryan Liang, Counterfeit Drugs, Partnership for Safe Medicines, personal drug importation, phrma, safemedicines, SafeMedicines.org, Scot Laganga