For years, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) has opposed new drug importation proposals that would improve access to more affordable medication from Canada and other countries. Led by its executive director, Carmen Catizone, PharmD, the NABP’s efforts pertaining to drug importation have focused mostly on opposing online access to imported medications – meaning Americans getting cheaper meds from Canada and other countries. This is not surprising. NABP has received a lot of money from pharmaceutical companies for these efforts. Also, NABP represents U.S. pharmacy boards and the members of those boards often have financial interests in U.S. pharmacies. But here’s a surprise…
Earlier this week, an article in the Washington Post focused on various prescription drug importation programs offered by cities, counties and schools to lower pharmaceutical bills for retirees and municipalities. According to the article, the FDA may view these programs as illegal. The FDA recently raided some pharmacy storefronts in Florida but did not shut them down. Those programs help Americans—especially the elderly— order affordable medications from other countries. Operating for 10, some even 15 years without interruption, they continue to save millions of dollars a year.
Mr. Catizone had the last word in the article. Referring to local government programs that help people import lower-cost medications to fill prescriptions, he stated:
“If cities and counties have done their due diligence to ensure their employees are getting drugs from reputable sources, then there is nothing wrong with it.”
He adds that failing to do so is like playing “Russian Roulette.” So true, especially when it comes to the Internet. The key is rigorous online pharmacy verification to ensure that online pharmacies offering lower drug prices sell lawfully-manufactured medications from pharmacies that require valid prescriptions. When it comes to the Internet, if patients do not do their due diligence, it’s like playing “Russian Roulette.” We created PharmacyChecker to do that due diligence for them.
Whether or not it was intended, Mr. Catizone has admitted there is nothing wrong with due diligence to promote safe personal drug importation. Thank you.Tagged with: Carmen Catizone, drug importation program, Flagler, Kokomo, NABP, Schenectady