Last year, PharmacyChecker.com criticized BeSafeRx, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s online pharmacy public education campaign, for implying that all online pharmacies located outside the U.S. are fake pharmacies. BeSafeRx discourages Americans who cannot afford medicine at their local pharmacies from accessing medicine online internationally, which has been shown to be safe if done properly. Real pharmacies in Canada and other countries sell the same medication sold here for much lower prices. Misinformation becomes a public health threat when it discourages people from finding viable ways of accessing needed medication. BeSafeRx has a new database program that enables consumers to check the license of a U.S. pharmacy found online. That’s nice, but the program reinforces the message that Americans should only buy from U.S. pharmacies, never over the Internet from foreign pharmacies. What is the FDA’s logic?
Here is an excerpt from the FDA’s website on importing prescription drugs:
Just because the FDA does not vouch for prescription medication sold in other countries does not mean that prescription medications sold abroad are less safe than those sold domestically. There are other national drug regulatory authorities to help safeguard medication. For example, Health Canada’s Therapeutic Products Directorate approves and regulates drugs in Canada in almost exactly the same way the FDA does here. Americans who order medication from safe international online pharmacies, such as those verified by PharmacyChecker.com, receive medication regulated under the authority of a foreign country.
Millions of Americans who have safely purchased prescription medication online from a foreign pharmacy simply do not believe the FDA and many are starting to speak up on why they need to personally import medication. They deserve the FDA’s undivided attention.
The new FDA database is only helpful if you need to check the license of a U.S. pharmacy found online with prices you can afford. If you can’t afford to pay a pharmacy’s prices, the safety of its medications are irrelevant.
With tens of millions of Americans forgoing prescribed medication each year due to cost, the FDA should spend more time trying to help people find safe AND affordable medication, and less time scaring them away from it.