Friday, February 18, 2011

Why RxforAmericanHealth believes personal importation of medicines from Tier One Countries can lower our debt at the local, State and Federal levels


· The United States faces what many believe to be the most severe fiscal crisis of its history—the burdensome Federal debt.

· Forty cents of every dollar spent by the government is today being applied to payment of interest for the debt.

· As of January 31, 2011 the amount of the U.S. debt had grown to $14.6 trillion.

· While there is debate among policy makers with differing political beliefs about contributors to this crisis, a consensus is rapidly emerging that a major contributor is the cost of healthcare.

· While the rate of the growth of healthcare costs has diminished somewhat, this is due to individuals not utilizing services due to the economic recession.

· At the same time, Prescription drug spending accelerated in 2009 to $249.9 billion, increasing 5.3 percent after 3.1 percent growth in 2008, driven by faster growth in both prices and utilization, according to the report.

· This reflects the fact that the pharmaceutical industry (Pharma) is a major driver of the ongoing—and growing—fiscal crisis as it relates to the costs of healthcare.

· ‘Negotiations’ between the Obama Administration and the pharmaceutical industry have not only not reduced the costs of prescription medicines, but they have actually created a guaranteed market for Pharma that will generate additional sales of drugs to be paid for by the Federal Goverment as the Doughnut Hole Medicare Part D is gradually eliminated, and as Pharma has continued to raise prices to offset its promise to ‘reduce’ prices for America’s elderly utilizing Medicare Part D.

· The result has been to increase prices for prescription medicines for all Americans, all the while failing to offer true relief for the elderly, but adding to the burden of the Federal debt.

· There must be relief from the prices Americans pay for prescription medicines—the highest in the world.

· Allowing personal importation of brand-name prescription medicines is the most effect strategy to provide the competitive forces to reduce the negative impact upon personal and governmental budgets, and at the same time, enhance the health and well-being of Americans by providing a healthcare regimen that includes access to safe, affordable brand-name medicines.

o Access to safe, affordable prescription name-brand medicines from licensed, regulated pharmacies outside the U.S. will reduce costs of medications, while improving the health of U.S. citizens

o Every American is entitled to enjoy the health benefits made possible by prescription medicines.

o We believe that Americans are capable of making informed decisions about his or her personal health and can do so in a responsible manner.

· This is validated by the growing number of policy makers—including President Obama—who in January 2011 reiterated his oft-stated campaign position regarding personal importation as a means of lower prescription drug prices, and reflected his sponsorship of legislation allowing personal importation when he served in the U.S. Senate.

· The President is not alone. A growing number of members of the U.S. Congress has introduced or announced support of personal importation as a primary driver as an option to offset increased healthcare costs directly, and, therefore the Federal debt.

· · The pharmaceutical industry has conducted an ongoing campaign comprised of false charges, inaccuracies, and fear tactics to damage the reputation of companies, services and individuals supporting a role for brand-name prescription medicines from outside the U.S.

· This is a reflection of Pharma’s goal to protect the status quo, as well as to make moves to prevent the free market from offering Americans the opportunity to purchase lower-cost safe brand-name medicines, and the industry’s belief that Americans are not capable of making such responsible decisions.

· · We shall present the truth about the safety, efficacy and cost-savings of brand-name prescription medicines from licensed, registered pharmacies in Tier One countries where standards of safety and efficacy meet or exceed those of the U.S.·

· We shall support policies allowing U.S. citizens to exercise their right to freedom of choice in brand-name prescription medicine purchases from licensed, registered pharmacies outside the U.S.

Monday, February 14, 2011

More on The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act and personal importation of prescription medicines

· Personal Importation of safe, affordable prescription medicines from countries outside the U.S was spurred more than a decade ago as a reaction to the fact that the U.S. has the highest prescription drug prices in the world.

· Personal importation of prescription medicines is the only option available to provide lower-cost brand name medicines for Americans.

· These medicines—from licensed, registered pharmacies in Tier One countries with standards of oversight that meet or exceed those of the U.S.—have provided health benefits and financial relief to hundreds of thousands of Americans.

· The U.S. Congress has through repeated votes in the House and Senate expressed its support of the concept of making personally imported medicines available to U.S. citizens from pharmacies in Tier One countries.

· While a rash of bogus pharmacies and counterfeit medicines has arisen on the Internet, legitimate on-line pharmacies have taken extraordinary steps to distinguish themselves from bogus pharmacies.

· The pharmaceutical industry and its trade group (PhRMA) have targeted the right of personal importation of prescription medicines, which, ironically, they themselves have manufactured.

· The latest attempt to curtail access to personal importation is to define any online pharmacy from outside the U.S. as ‘bogus’ , even if an online pharmacy has met the standards of safety and efficacy of its practice required by the appropriate regulatory agency of its government.

Opponents of personal importation have taken steps that indicate they hope to use the anti-counterfeiting intent of The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act as a rationale to claim that even licensed, registered pharmacies would be guilty of infringement of Copyright and Intellectual property rights

This would make the pharmacy liable to enforcement provisions of The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act which include, but are not limited to, the shutting down of domains and websites not only of the pharmacy, but could be extended to the sites of advocacy groups and individuals that support personal importation.

· Because of that, specific legislative language should be included in The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act to ensure that the legislation meets its intended purpose, and cannot be co-opted by special interest groups that would utilize the bill to meet their own narrow interests.


Without the inclusion of language to more carefully define the intent of The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act the stage would be set for the pharmaceutical industry to take actions to restrict the right of Americans to enjoy the health benefits provided by safe, vital medicines that they otherwise could not afford.

Publisher of informational Website for Seniors says Congress must clarify language of anti-counterfeiting bill to deter Pharma moves

The publisher of a leading informational website for America’s Seniors says that Congress must clarify the language of The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) which is ostensibly designed to deal with the issue of the theft of U.S. intellectual property rights and counterfeit products sold in the U.S., to deter attempts by the pharmaceutical industry (Pharma) to co-opt the legislation for its own limited purposes

Daniel Hines, publisher of www.TodaysSeniorsNetwork.com and http://RxforAmericanHealth.blogspot.com says that Pharma is attempting to utilize the ambiguous definition of ‘counterfeit’ as it applies to brand-name prescription medicines from licensed, registered pharmacies in Tier One countries as a new tactic to prevent Americans from utilizing personal importation of vital prescription medicines.

The Committee is holding a hearing Thursday, February 16, featuring representatives of Visa, Verizon, GoDaddy.com, Authors Guild and Rosetta Stone.

"Pharma has long attempted to deny access to safe, affordable medicines from Tier One Countries through its extensive lobbying among elected officials and with appointed /policy-makers, “ Hines says. “Now, it is attempting to co-opt the intent of The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act.

“This is unacceptable to those who believe Americans should be able to exercise their right to make personal health care decisions, including the purchase of safe, affordable medicines from licensed, registered pharmacies from Tier One Countries, whose standards of oversight for safety and efficacy meet or exceed those of the U.S."

Hines noted that "Pharma has spared no expense to create a series of 'front groups' to create the specter of 'bogus pharmacies' flooding the country with unsafe prescriptions, and to go so far as to attempt to falsely include legitimate pharmacies from Tier One Countries.

"But it has shown no interest in directing its vast resources to establishing the mechanism and framework which could address the best means of distinguishing 'rogue pharmacies' from legitimate, licensed pharmacies in Tier One countries.

“The reason for Pharma's opposition to personal importation-ironically, importation of the very medicines that they produce under FDA oversight-is that the imported medicines are priced at 40 to 80 percent less that the identical medicine in the U.S., Hines says. “These tremendous savings provide access to safe, affordable medicines that enhance the health and well-being of large numbers of Americans.

"We urge the Committee members and other Senators and members of Congress to pay special attention to ensuring that the language in The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act encompasses the real goals of deterring copyright and intellectual property theft, by clarifying the intent of the use of the term ‘counterfeit’, and that there be specific and clearly defined restrictions upon efforts by special interest groups to co-opt the intent of the bill."

"The health interests of large numbers of Americans receive utmost consideration and Pharma interests must be restricted from utilizing the legislation to attain its long-standing goal of limiting the access of Americans to vital medicines,” he concluded.