Shocking. Contrary to the outcry against high drug prices in the United States and the findings of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a recent survey conducted by the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP or “Buy Safe Rx”), the Pharma-funded nonprofit, found that a majority of consumers (59%) oppose legalizing drug importation “after being provided with information specifically pertaining to Canadian online pharmacies.” Information, huh? First, let’s talk about an objective survey on the issue.
In May of this year, the Kaiser Family Foundation issued a more comprehensive, larger survey that found the complete opposite result of ASOP: 72% of respondents support legalizing drug importation from Canada, with Democrats and Republicans agreeing on this issue.
Also, despite the federal prohibitions, nineteen million Americans say they have imported lower cost medication from other countries.
The ASOP “survey” respondents were provided fear-inducing “statistics” surrounding Canadian online pharmacies before asking the survey questions. One such “factoid” gives you a window into the scheming nature of the whole project:
“Hundreds of illegal Canadian online pharmacies do not require valid prescriptions for controlled substances like Percocet, Vicodin and fentanyl, so legalizing the importation of prescription drugs from Canada will exacerbate the U.S. opioid epidemic by making it easier for those struggling with substance abuse and drug traffickers to purchase these drugs online.”
Americans aren’t stupid, and yet ASOP appears to be trying to fool them. Just because there are rogue online pharmacies that traffic in opioids, don’t require prescriptions or intentionally sell fake drugs, does NOT mean we shouldn’t legalize the importation of safe, lower-cost, non-controlled medications from Canada.
In its quest to prevent Americans from buying lower-cost medication online from Canada, ASOP seems to be piggybacking on the public health crisis of opioid abuse because illegally imported Fentanyl does contribute to the problem. Don’ be fooled. I recently published an op-ed in The Hill on this very cynical attempt to conflate the opioid crisis with safe medication importation from Canada.
Also, the PharmacyChecker Verification Program does NOT allow membership to any online pharmacy—Canadian, U.S. or otherwise—that sells medication without a valid prescription or markets controlled substances to be illegally sold in the U.S.
One thing ASOP gets right is that we need more consumer education, but its solution is awful, which is to prevent people from ordering lower-cost medication online from pharmacies in other countries. In contrast, peer-reviewed studies show that credentialed online pharmacies are safe. We’re proud to state that the international online pharmacies that were tested in those studies and found to be just as safe as U.S. pharmacies, but a lot less expensive, were verified by PharmacyChecker. If you’re interested in an overview of this research, click here.
No matter where the cards fall with Obamacare, for the foreseeable future tens of millions will find drug prices too high and safe international online pharmacies a lifeline of affordable medication. Surveys like the one ASOP publicized last week can scare people from getting affordable medication online and encourage bad public policy, but that may just be big pharma’s goal…Tagged with: Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies, ASOP, Big Pharma, Kaiser Family Foundation, survey