I’ve been around the consumer health world for long enough to have a good idea of which groups and individuals really want to find and spread the truth to Americans. Joe and Terry Graedon of the People’s Pharmacy are high on the list. So I was honored to read what they wrote about us (as people, the CEO and me, and as a company) in the latest edition of The Graedon’s Guide to Saving Money On Medicines:
“We have met the founders (Tod Cooperman, MD and Gabriel Levitt, MA). They have impressed us with their commitment to helping U.S. citizens obtain affordable and reliable medications. Even more helpful than the list of pharmacies are the PharmacyChecker.com price comparisons.”
Prescription drug importation is one small part of the Guide, which is more comprehensively helpful for consumers facing tough decisions related to the cost of medication. But it really goes further than just drug prices. In a compelling and even fun style, the Guide addresses the critical business, legal, regulatory and policy issues having to do with drug quality, FDA oversight, generic drugs, and the greed of pharmaceutical companies, that Americans want to know about.
For instance, the People’s Pharmacy was once an unequivocal supporter of low cost generic medication. While they still recommend lower cost generics for most medications, they are concerned about those which have a narrow therapeutic index (NTI) or certain drugs with extended release formulations.
In fact, our sister company, ConsumerLab.com, teamed up with the People’s Pharmacy back in 2007 and again in 2008 to show that FDA-approved generics are not always the same and consumers deserve the facts. In one case with a generic version of the drug Wellbutrin XL 300mg, the FDA initially ignored ConsumerLab.com’s findings of a problem. Then, only years later, finally did its own tests which confirmed the problem, leading the FDA to deem the drug “not” equivalent to Wellbutrin XL and up their regulatory game.
On that note, the People’s Pharmacy’s endorsement of personal drug importation from safe online pharmacies extends only to the purchase of lower cost brand name drugs. They are skeptical of generics for the reasons mentioned in the Guide, domestic and foreign!
I believe strongly that generics are an excellent way to go for almost all drugs but we have written about problems with generics here and in some cases the brand (or even a different generic) will work better. You can find lower cost generic medications at U.S. local pharmacies using a prescription discount card vy searching on PharmacyChecker.com. However, when you want the brand name and can’t afford it locally, then you can get it for much less from verified international online pharmacies.
To wrap up here: I highly recommend you fork out the $2.99 for the Guide. You’ll get it back in safety and savings spades.Tagged with: consumerlab, joe graedon, People's Pharmacy