PharmacyChecker Blog

Helping Americans Get The Truth About Prescription Drug Savings
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The Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM), a front group for the pharmaceutical industry, recently published a piece in which its vice president, Bryan Liang, conducted an interview with the Inspectorate of General Health in the Netherlands Antilles on the topic of free trade zones and pharmaceuticals sold through them.

While Dr. Liang attempted to paint a sinister picture of pharmacies in free trade zones, noting a potential to “assist foreign and suspect online sellers,” the Inspectorate gave a most positive description of the one and only operation under his purview that has been approved by He stated:

“The one Internet pharmacy established in the Airport Economic Zone is licensed, as are the pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. Thus, the pharmacy is recognized by the Netherlands Antillean government. All laws and regulations on pharmaceuticals and on the practice of pharmacy do apply. The Inspectorate for Pharmaceutical Affairs has full jurisdiction and authority in these matters, including in the free trade zone.

The Internet/mail-order pharmacy is not allowed to dispense any controlled substance. Furthermore, the responsible pharmacist has been given specific instructions on how to stop any counterfeit medicine that enters the country and is subsequently re-exported. For example, the pharmacist is supposed to have a pedigree system in place, by which the source of all medicines can be traced and verified. Medicines can only be imported from reputable (licensed) pharmaceutical wholesalers and/or manufacturers abroad (applying the “know your supplier” principle).” is well aware of these safeguards. We made sure they were in place and verified before permitting the pharmacy to become a member of the Verification Program, including an onsite inspection by Dr. Ram Kamath, Pharm.D, our Director of Pharmacy Policy and International Verifications, who found that the pharmacy meets good standards of mail-order pharmacy practice. The pharmacy is inspected by us annually. Dr. Kamath, by the way, co-designed the state drug importation program called I-SaveRx for the State of Illinois. That program was then adopted by four other states, including Kansas, under the leadership of former Governor Kathleen Sebelius, now Secretary of Health and Human Services. It was also supported by then Congressman Rahm Emanuel, now White House Chief of Staff.

The PSM’s post also squeezes in an implication that allows rogue online pharmacies to advertise on search engines, based on an earlier misleading article written by PSM’s Bryan Liang himself. That article and several others published by pharma-industry-funded groups wrongly attribute rogue online pharmacy ads to

In our opinion, the most “suspect” aspect of the Partnership for Safe Medicines’ blog article is that it shows the continuing efforts of this organization to misinform the public about safe Canadian and other international pharmacies.

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