In late March, drug giant Bayer Pharmaceuticals, out of the goodness of its heart, agreed to donate three million tablets of chloroquine phosphate to help the Trump administration get this drug into U.S. pharmacies. That’s according to an investigative article in Vanity Fair by Katherine Eban, called:
“‘Really Want to Flood NY and NJ’: Internal Documents Reveal Team Trump’s Chloroquine Master Plan”
How inflammatory?! For Trump lovers, that title has the ring of just more biased, liberal media Trump-bashing. For Trump haters, it’s another reason to hate Trump. This post isn’t about our constant partisan divide or even Bayer or other evil drug companies, although they are referenced. It’s also not about unproven treatments for Covid-19 (that was last week). All parties should be interested in the story behind the story: independent drug testing and its potential importance to determine if a drug is safe and effective.
I’m a big fan of testing prescription drugs to see if they have the right stuff (to put it eloquently). Here’s why: lots of pharma-funded groups and some people at the FDA say don’t buy medicine online from foreign countries because it’s allegedly unsafe. Yet, independent testing of about a thousand prescription drug orders has shown that personal drug importation can and is done very safely. Periodic testing of foreign online pharmacy medication orders over the last decade has proven the efficacy of brand name Celebrex, Lipitor, Nexium, Viagra and Zoloft; generic ciprofloxacin and atorvastatin; and, just last month, hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine phosphate.
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Canada believes it is too small to facilitate U.S. wholesale importation of lower-cost drugs. This post will explore a much greater potential for importation from the European Union.
Americans buying less expensive drugs from overseas pharmacies (i.e. personal
importation) often rely on the common belief that the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration exemplifies the “gold standard” in drug safety. This “gold standard”
importation talking point from the
Pharmaceutical and Researchers of America (PhRMA) fuels Americans’ fear of ordering medication
internationally despite proof that importation can be very safe and provide
financial relief and better adherence to prescriptions:
“The United States is the gold standard when it comes to regulating the safety of our medicine supply. Importing medicines from countries that do not have our same strong standards could taint our medicine supply.”
The first sentence
is something you are supposed to take at face value. The second sentence is
deceptively broad: as in, yes, importing medicines from countries that do not
have our “same” standards could taint our medicine supply. Not
necessarily, but it could.
(more…)Tagged with: Katherine Eban
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is just one agency out of the many that make up the United States Department of Health and Human Services and, from PharmacyChecker’s relatively small (non-regulatory) role of helping verify online pharmacies to protect public health, I’ve learned just how insanely massive its mandate is. I’ve also witnessed and participated in its criticism, and with good reason: the agency is not honest or forthcoming about personal drug importation, their regulatory process has been said to be “inherently biased” in terms of which drugs they choose to approve and their coziness with the pharmaceutical industry, among other things. Wikipedia has an extremely long page aptly called Criticism of the Food and Drug Administration, much of it having to do with its role with prescription drugs, and less so other sectors, such as food, tobacco and cosmetics.
As my greater advocacy initiatives have worked to implore
the FDA to bring more balance, commonsense and fairness to regulating and
providing consumer education about personal imports of prescription drugs, I’ve
realized that I should practice the same in how I talk about the FDA. So,
without further ado, a moment of praise amongst the criticism:
(more…)Tagged with: kaiser health news, Katherine Eban, Ranbaxy