This week was a breakthrough for holding accountable the pharmaceutical industry for fueling the opioid crisis, which is responsible for approximately 400,000 deaths in the U.S. alone. In a landmark ruling, a judge in Oklahoma fined Johnson & Johnson $572 million for deceptive and aggressive marketing practices of opioid drugs that contributed to 6,000 deaths in that state. State prosecutors were successful by charging the drug company under laws relating to “public nuisances.” To remedy and remove the nuisance, the fine will go toward treatment, education and prevention programs related to opioid drugs. This resonates powerfully with me because, for years, I’ve observed how the drug industry abused the opioid crisis as a lobbying and public relations tool against prescription drug importation and to crack down against safe international online pharmacies, and even against PharmacyChecker. It has done so through its own trade associations and companies and by funding organizations to do their bidding.(more…)Tagged with: Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies, Johnson and Johnson, National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP), opioid crisis, Partnership for Safe Medicines
Increasingly frustrated with the state of drug costs in the U.S., millions of Americans have found refuge in ordering necessary prescription medications online from Canadian or other international pharmacies for roughly a tenth the cost of those at their local Walgreens, CVS, or other pharmacy.
For many years, consumers have been relieved to find the international savings option after a simple search on Google or Bing. Among top search results for the words “online pharmacies,” there was a list of the safest international online pharmacies that sell to consumers in the U.S. and also facts about the benefits and risks of online pharmacies, including obtaining lower cost medication from licensed pharmacies abroad. That is, until recently.
Unfortunately, we know that Google and Bing are working with Big Pharma funded groups and programs. We believe this has led to censorship of affordable medication access on the Internet.
So, we’ve also started a petition to #StopBigPharma.
Americans used to be given a fair chance to research all options for savings on their prescription medications.
But now? Now, things look a little different.(more…)Tagged with: Bing, Censorship, Change.org, Google
Americans overwhelmingly believe that drug prices are unreasonably high in our country. Millions have looked to the Internet to find lower drug prices at pharmacies in other countries, many because they have no other choice. For over 16 years, PharmacyChecker has provided online pharmacy verification and drug price comparison information to help these people. As I’ve written about for years, the drug companies and U.S. pharmacy corporations don’t like this and take actions to make it stop.
PharmacyChecker has filed a lawsuit against organizations and companies that we allege are illegally conspiring to “to choke off information about personal importation of affordable prescription medications from regulated, reputable pharmacies in Canada and elsewhere overseas.”
The defendants in the case are the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP), LegitScript, Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP), Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies (CSIP), and the Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM). We allege that they have directly and illegally targeted PharmacyChecker.com.(more…)Tagged with: Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies, Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies, LegitScript, NABP, National Associations of Boards of Pharmacy, Partnership for Safe Medicines, Sherman and Clayton Acts, tarbell
This week, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) sent a letter to the Secretary of Health and Human Services and FDA Commissioner declaring support for the Trump administration’s drug importation plan but warning about the need to up our game inspecting foreign drug manufacturing establishments. Grassley cautioned that the U.S. must ensure new imports are properly tracked and traced within the supply chain. While there are some details in Grassley’s recently stated position that are a bit blurry, the essence of what the senator is saying is very good. We can use global trade to force down prices on prescription drugs in the U.S. while continuing to work on and improve the safety of our already-existing global pharmaceutical supply.
Senator Grassley has vociferously supported drug importation for a long time. As reported in The Hill in 2012, he was intensely critical of President Obama for going back on his 2008 campaign promise to support dug importation:(more…)Tagged with: Senator Chuck Grassley
This week, the Trump administration formally announced support for not only state prescription drug importation programs, but also HHS Secretary Alex Azar’s own importation plan. Until this week, it was known that Trump had instructed Secretary Azar to work with Republican Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida to help implement its new law to permit wholesale drug importation from Canada for public payers, which also includes importation from other countries for the private market. Now, there is real movement.
Before diving into Trump’s drug importation plan more fully, please take note that this plan actually allows for the importation of what the FDA has called “foreign unapproved drugs,” ones that they have said they don’t want Americans ordering online and importing for their own use. These drugs, as explained below, are safe and effective foreign brand versions of the same drugs sold here. This recognition of equivalent brand drug safety is a step in the right direction.(more…)Tagged with: Alex Azar, Donald Trump, Food Drug Cosmetic Act, Section 804
PharmacyChecker has proudly announced a new online pharmacy verification tool to make it easier for consumers to determine if a website is safe and accredited through the PharmacyChecker Verification Program. This verification portal can benefit patients, health care providers and caregivers considering lower-cost retail pharmacy options in Canada and other countries.
As we emphasized in our press release about the new portal, pharma-funded initiatives, like the
“.Pharmacy Program” of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP), do not help Americans seeking lower-cost and safe medicine from Canada and other countries. The NABP advises Americans not to buy and import medication. The stated intent of the NABP’s “.Pharmacy Program” is to help consumers find “legitimate” online pharmacies, which are ones that have registered a “.pharmacy” domain (e.g., Walgreens.pharmacy, Kroger.pharmacy, Walmart.pharmacy). Such household name U.S. online pharmacies are usually ones approved in the NABP’s Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS) program.