November 20, 2017 — Kaiser Health News reported that the FDA Office of Criminal Investigations sent agents and search warrants to several companies in Florida — often referred to as pharmacy storefronts — because they help Americans place orders and fill prescriptions with pharmacies located in Canada in addition to other countries.
Read the full story here: FDA Raids Florida Stores That Consumers Use to Buy Drugs from Canada
The FDA has a lot of regulatory latitude to shape its enforcement agenda. Its efforts against counterfeit drug sales, opioid pushers (including drug companies), and rogue websites can greatly protect public health. However, we know that FDA/OCI has a history of actions more focused on protecting the profits of pharmaceutical companies.
PharmacyChecker.com opposes enforcement actions that target the safest international pharmacy options, whether via online pharmacies or storefronts, on which many Americans have come to rely because they can’t afford medications locally.
FDA has informed storefront operators that prescription drug importation is illegal and that they could face fines or jailtime for helping Americans buy lower-cost medication. (more…)
Tagged with: Enforcement, Florida, opioids, storefronts
Question: My doctor in Florida insists that all prescriptions be sent electronically to the pharmacy. I prefer to have a paper prescription in order to shop around for the best price. What can I do?
Answer: While most states have provisions allowing electronic prescribing, and some have extremely strict requirements mandating their use, all have exceptions that allow consumer choice. PharmacyChecker.com CEO Tod Cooperman, MD, wrote about this issue in an earlier blog post as it relates to electronic prescribing in the State of New York. But what about Florida?
Here’s the good news! Florida law states “electronic prescribing shall not interfere with a patient’s freedom to choose a pharmacy.”
The main reason that states have adopted rules to encourage electronic prescribing is to prevent the abuse of prescription narcotics, which is a national epidemic.
Tagged with: consumer choice, e-prescribing, Florida, legal
The “Stop Online Piracy Act” (SOPA), currently before Congress, threatens online access to safe and affordable medication through reputable international online pharmacies. A CBS-Fort Myers report gives a human face to this issue by highlighting a Floridian senior, Mary Miller, who is able to afford her medication only because of a Canadian online pharmacy. If SOPA passes, Ms. Miller may lose access to that Canadian online pharmacy. The CBS report features RxRights.org as the lead organization helping Americans rally to contact their elected officials to oppose SOPA.
Stopping rogue sites in many areas, such as those sites that steal and re-sell copyrighted movies and music, sell knockoffs of designer handbags and clothes, and especially those that sell dangerous or fake medication is the right idea. But a bill that could takedown many websites that are exercising the rights of free speech, publishing music and movies legally, and especially websites selling safe and affordable medication, is a bill that should be abandoned post-haste.
RxRights.org should be loudly applauded for its work on behalf of Americans who are struggling to afford medication by educating Americans about SOPA and how it could block access to affordable prescription medication.
Tagged with: affordability, Canada, Canadian pharmacies, CBS, Congress, copyright, Florida, Online Pharmacies, rogue sites, RxRights.org, safety, SOPA, Stop Online Piracy Act