Kaiser Poll Show Support for Personal Imporatation

Kaiser Poll Show Support for Personal Imporatation

Monday, July 14, 2008

It’s time to set the record straight on what really are 'Bad Meds'...

Posted by Daniel Hines, publisher, www.TodaysSeniorsNetwork.com

Ever since increasing numbers of U.S. citizens started turning to legitimate pharmacies from outside the United States to purchase safe, affordable prescriptions via mail order and the Internet nearly seven years ago, the major charges against their use by those who fear such sales will lead to lower prescription medicine prices in this country have been based on trumped-up charges of legitimacy, safety and whether or not the prescriptions being purchased were counterfeit.

These charges have taken a variety of forms over the years, as ‘spokespersons’ for the pharmaceutical industry joined in a chorus of false charges about safety and efficacy. It was—and remains—a clumsy attempt by the pharmaceutical industry, to confuse the American public in an attempt to scare it away from what was its only opportunity to purchase safe, affordable and vital prescription medicines.

Backed by a seemingly unlimited bankroll, the pharmaceutical industry had no trouble in finding persons and ‘groups’ ready to engage in such scare tactics, ranging from college professors who raised the specter of counterfeit medicines being used to fund terrorist tactics ; to ‘Grandma’ Green, who toured the country in a John Madden-type bus talking about the dangers of Canadian pharmacies courtesy of funding from a misnamed ‘senior’ group which, some have charged, lacked any senior membership; to even media that used misstatements and stories lacking any basis in facts under the cover of claimed ‘investigative reporting.’

It did not matter to those making the charges that the prescriptions being purchased by countless numbers of Americans were in fact medicines manufactured by the pharmaceutical companies that were ironically claiming their own medicines were unsafe. It did not matter that the pharmacies supplying the prescriptions were subject to oversight and standards that met or exceeded those of the United States. It did not matter that our country’s Food and Drug Administration itself had stated that individual American citizens could purchase medical devices or prescription medicines from other countries if they were not available in this country. It did not matter that many argued that if a medicine was not affordable, it was not available in this country. It did not matter that the U.S. Congress has three times passed legislation to facilitate access to medicines from outside the U.S, only to watch as the pharmaceutical industry got the payback for its extensive political contributions and lobbying efforts with ‘poison pill’ amendments that effectively negated the will and intent of the U.S. Congress to the detriment of the American public it had been elected to serve.

Now, a new report from The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University has clearly identified characteristics of bogus pharmacies. In so doing, it has laid out the differences between bogus pharmacies and legitimate, licensed and registered pharmacies in other countries. These important guidelines can help the public—and hopefully the media and policy-makers—put an end to the attempts at confusion and misdirection.

Here are some of the major points from the report followed by a description of the difference on each point between bogus pharmacies and legitimate ones from outside the U.S.:

• Bad Meds: Of the Web sites advertising or selling controlled prescription drugs, like OxyContin and Valium, Xanax and Vicodin, and Ritalin and Adderall, in the past year, 85 percent of Web sites selling such drugs do not require a prescription

Legitimate Pharmacy: No legitimate mail-order pharmacy from outside the U.S. advertises or sells controlled prescription drugs. No legitimate mail-order pharmacy will sell any medicine without a prescription from a physician.

• Bad Meds: The report found sites selling online "medical consultations" which enable Internet users to get controlled drugs online without a proper prescription.

Legitimate Pharmacy: No legitimate mail-order pharmacy from outside the U.S. will engage in schemes that remove the requirement that all medicines sold must have a prescription from the client’s doctor.

• Bad Meds: Of the few sites that require prescriptions, half permit the
Prescription to be faxed, allowing significant opportunity for fraud.

Legitimate Pharmacy: All legitimate pharmacies and services verify the validity of the prescription.

• Bad Meds: There are no controls blocking access to these sites by children and teens.

Legitimate Pharmacy: There would be virtually no chance of a teen or child to order from a mail-order, Internet-based pharmacy outside the U.S. because in addition to the oversight of authorities in its own country, almost all mail-order pharmacies have instituted rigorous controls of their own. Add to this the requirements that all client orders have a physician-ordered prescription, and the possibility of teens or children ordering medicines of any type from legitimate, professional sources are virtually nil.

The report notes that “last year, the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), held hearings on "’The Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act of 2008’ to control Internet trafficking of controlled prescription drugs which was introduced by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Jeff Sessions (R-AL). The Senate passed the bill in April of 2008. The Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security of the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the topic last month.”

It is important to note that according to highly placed sources of Rx for American Health, the Bill in no way was intended by the sponsors or those who voted for it to be a reflection upon the benefit of legitimate on-line, mail-order pharmacies and related services, such as provided by the Dorgan-Snowe bill.

It is obvious that it is time to end this subterfuge about the safety and efficacy of prescription medicines from such pharmacies and to deal with the facts.
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