Kaiser Poll Show Support for Personal Imporatation

Kaiser Poll Show Support for Personal Imporatation

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Pharma, allies disingenuous, practicing misdirection on real purposes of proposed legislation on sale of controlled substances over the Internet

In a rare show of unity, the U.S. Senate passed the Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act of 2008 (S. 980), introduced by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Jeff Sessions (R-AL).

The bill is named in honor of the tragic death of the youthful Ryan Haight. The following is from the web site in honor of Ryan:

“Ryan Thomas Haight overdosed and died on February 12, 2001 on narcotics that he had easily purchased on the Internet. A medical doctor on the Internet that he never saw prescribed them, an Internet pharmacy mailed them to his home. He was only 17 when he purchased them, he was only 18 when he died. We are dedicated to educating and providing information for parents, families and our communities on issues concerning the Internet and Drug Abuse. It is too simple to get dangerous prescription drugs on the Internet. It is too easy for our youths to get information about drugs and to find out how and where to get them.”

Now, in a series of moves that are reprehensible in tone and manner because it does not reflect the purpose of the proposed legislation or a solution to the problem, pharma and its allies are attempting to co-opt the legislation for their own purposes by acting as though the legislation and the tragedy itself are somehow related to the safety and efficacy of legitimate, on-line pharmacies and prescription medicines from outside the United States.

In House of Representative hearings, a pharmacy industry witness conveniently lumped licensed, registered pharmacies from countries that face oversight that matches or exceeds that of U.S. pharmacies, actually purloining the intent of the hearing which was supposed to examine ways to stopping the sale of controlled substances by any pharmacy, including those in the U.S. A FDA spokesperson took the same tact, while a well-meaning lawyer from GoDaddy.com tried to explain how and why additional oversight was needed, but did not deal with the subject of licensed pharmacies from outside the U.S. making safe, affordable prescription medicines available to Americans.

Now, The Healthcare Distribution Management Association (HDMA) has issued a statement commending Representatives Bart Stupak (D-MI), Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Mary Bono Mack (R-CA) for introducing bipartisan legislation (H.R. 6353) to combat illegal online sales of prescription medicines.

Since this is the companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives to S 980, the HDMA is the latest to employ misdirection regarding the intent of the legislation—intent which we have verified with well-placed sources in Washington that S 980 is not associated in any way with the question of ‘reimporation’ of prescription medicines and their availability to U.S. citizens.

Need proof? Consider this explanation of the intent of the proposed legislation included in a release from Congressman Smith's office:

"The Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act of 2008 is a companion to legislation introduced in the Senate by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). The legislation is designed to stop Internet pharmacies that sell controlled substances without a valid prescription."

It is a matter of record that pharmacies such as those who are members of the Canadian International Pharmacy Association doing mail order business over the Internet do not sell controlled substances,and, that they sell no medicine without a proper prescription from a physician.

It is time to truly distinguish between the healthcare benefits provided to Americans by legitimate, licensed pharmacies from outside the U.S. and ‘Bad Meds.’
And, it is time for pharma and its allies to stop attempting to confuse the American public by incorrectly associating the tragedy of Ryan Haight to legitimate, licensed pharmacies that are practicing the highest standards of healthcare professionalism.
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