Our vice president, Gabriel Levitt, submitted comments to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to emphasize that the Obama administration’s online pharmacy strategy curtails access by Americans to safe online pharmacies in its otherwise important efforts to combat “rogue” online pharmacies. Its Office of the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC) seeks to encourage companies, such as search engines, domain registrars, and credit card companies to prohibit services to dangerous web pharmacies. This may sound good, but all is not what it seems.
IPEC’s efforts led to the creation of the Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies (CSIP), which in our opinion, is essentially a group of very important companies working together to fulfill the wishes of the pharmaceutical industry as they relate to online pharmacies. Founded partly by Google, CSIP is allied with big pharmaceutical and U.S. pharmacy interests, such as Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies, LegitScript, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, and the Partnership for Safe Medicines. All of these organizations are either fully or partially funded by drug companies or U.S. chain pharmacies, or are paid by the FDA, and help discourage safe personal drug importation while cracking down on real rogue sites. We abhor the former but support the latter. They label safe international online pharmacies as “rogue” or “illegitimate” – scaring people away from affordable medication online. We hope our advice to the U.S. government will help prevent further exacerbation of the problem of Americans skipping prescribed medication due to high drug prices in America.Tagged with: Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies, CSIP, FDA, Partnership for Safe Medicines