Kaiser Poll Show Support for Personal Imporatation

Kaiser Poll Show Support for Personal Imporatation

Friday, August 22, 2014

How Pharma destroyed its own claims about identifying bogus pharmacies

One of the old and tired saws of Pharma, its trade association PhRMA, the National Association of the Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) and the many front groups is that it not possible to identify personally imported medicines as to whether they come from ‘bogus’ pharmacies and are counterfeit.
Now, however, John Horton, founder of LegitScript, an accreditation service for the National Association of the Boards of Pharmacy, has given the lie to that stance, admittedly likely unintentionally.
 He stated on his website that he agrees that Canadian pharmacies approved by their Provincial authorities are indeed legitimate, and by extension safe, at least for Canadians.
EasyDNS, a leading Canadian-based domain name registrar announced a new policy, after receiving a ‘complaint’ from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about a bogus pharmacy selling controlled substances without a prescription that led to the death of a customer, that it would accept domain registrations from Canadian pharmacies that are licensed by the appropriate Provincial authority in the Province where the Pharmacy is located.  
LegitScript was formed with the blessing of Pharma, its trade group PhRMA, and the NABP, so it is likely that the intent of the Horton blog was to applaud the removal of the bogus pharmacy from the web by EasyDNS.
Here’s what LegitScript’s blog said about the decision:  “I’m glad to be posting this blog in recognition and support of recent policy updates implemented by EasyDNS, an ICANN-accredited domain name registrar in Canada.

“This morning, EasyDNS announced that henceforth, it would require domain name registrants using their domain name to facilitate prescription drug sales to be able to produce a valid pharmacy license in any jurisdiction that they are offering to ship drugs to, if asked.”
And therein would have been the rub. Irrespective of the fact that a competent health oversight agency in a Province approves a pharmacy, the rule could have been interpreted that if someone in the U.S. asks to see a license of a Canadian pharmacy ‘offering’ to ship drugs to the U.S., the pharmacy must show a ‘license’ from the within the U.S. and if it cannot, it would be restricted from selling prescriptions in the U.S. 
Obviously, Pharma was admitting that licensed, registered pharmacies in Canada can safely dispense medicines—but only to Canadians.
LegitScript was probably shocked, however, when, after Mr. Horton posted his blog, EasyDNS ‘added’ to its statement the inclusion of Pharmacy Checker,  a U.S.-based pharmacy verification service that works with pharmacies outside the U.S., as an approved verification service, and that its verification would merit the continuation of hosting a website selling prescriptions to America....the key phrase being '...or Pharmacy Checker' as an approval source.
The shock value comes from the fact that EasyDNS concluded what many in the U.S. already know... LegitScript would not approve a site outside the U.S., thereby making the original language of the EasyDNS statement work to the exclusion  of selling to other countries. 

This problem was resolved when it changed and expanded the verification service for internet pharmacies approved by Provincial authority
While much of the issue from the EasyDNS perspective involves the emerging debate about domain registration, internet freedom and rules, and ICANN authority, I believe the question that deserves an answer is why does LegitScript admit that Canadian--and by extension, other Tier One countries--have the ability to establish standards of safety and efficacy, but that those standards cannot be used or understood by Americans to distinguish a safe legitimate pharmacy from a bogus one? 

I believe it is because LegitScript and others are working to  extend their relationships with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to become a quasi-governmental entity with  approval authority for  internet pharmacies (all within the U.S.) being the standard for the FDA, and this is a part of a bigger strategy to deny Americans access to all avenues to personally import their medicines.
Now, however, LegitScript by its actions has proven that the efficacy and safety of the medicines and the pharmacies approved by Provincial authorities is a readily identifiable standard to determine that a pharmacy is indeed licensed.

The same would be true in other Tier One Countries whose standards of safety and efficacy meet or exceed those of the U.S.
Such oversight provides a standard and guide to ensure the legitimacy of a pharmacy for individuals and groups for whom personal importation of their medicines is the only relief from ever-increasing prescription medicine prices.
Applied to all Tier One countries, there is no validity to the arguments of Pharma and its allies that Americans have no way to ensure that pharmacies or medicines from outside the U.S. really were authentic.   
Will LegitScript apply this logical approach to licensed, registered pharmacies in other Tier One countries with such high standards?
Or will Pharma and its allies continue to support the potential spectacle of the destruction of personally imported authentic prescription brand-name medicines under the arcane requirements of Section 708 of the misnamed Food Drug Administration Safety Innovation Act (FDASIA) when 50 million Americans are forgoing the health benefits that could be attained from adhering to a regimen of prescription medicines because U.S. prices for a growing number of medicines make them unaffordable.

As all of this is occurring, we anxiously await the return of the U.S. Congress where support is growing for personal importation with bi-partisan legislation in the House of Representatives and Senate.
This includes a bill introduced by Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) to allow the personal importation of brand-name medicines from Canada—and hopefully other Tier One countries. There is also a bi-partisan bill in the House of Representatives, introduced by Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN) supporting personal importation.
There is also growing support to curb the police-like powers of Section 708, including legislation from Senator David Vitter (R-LA) to halt funding for its implementation.
And, what better source to make the case to prevent the abuse of power by the FDA to destroy authentic, vital maintenance brand-name medicines from Tier One Countries, thereby protecting the ‘safe haven’ provided in the U.S. for Pharma than Mr. Horton’s own words:
“The best way to keep governments — at least those that have some sort of a liberal tradition steeped in human rights, freedom and privacy, unlike China, North Korea and Syria — from controlling the Internet in the long-term isn’t to give government the middle finger, especially on stuff that’s obviously dangerous and illegal. It’s for the Internet stakeholder community to show the world that “We’ve got this” and can implement policies and procedures that have some sort of due process, and reduce cybercrime, on their own, without government intrusion. “ 
And, I might add, without the threat of doing harm to the health and well-being of untold numbers of Americans, especially by an agency such as the FDA which was designed for the purpose of promoting American’s health, instead destroying vital medicines.  That seems to me to be the ultimate form of 'government intrusion that Mr. Horton says he abhors...and it is all for the benefit of Pharma.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Why would the FDA destroy safe, authentic medicines? They don't trust Americans' judgment? No, to protect Pharma's safe haven.

Why does the U.S. FDA believe Americans are so dumb that they can’t distinguish a ‘silk purse’ from a ‘pig’s ear’ when it comes to choosing a safe source of personally imported medicines.  Look at elements from a mailer of a bogus pharmacy selling counterfeit medicines below...would you be fooled?
The FDA believes you would, and that is why it says it is seeking to create rules under Section 708 of the misnamed Food Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA) that will allow it to needlessly destroy  safe, affordable and authentic brand-name prescription medicines from licensed, registered pharmacies in Tier One Countries that have standards of safety and efficacy that meet or exceed those of the US FDA, thereby denying untold numbers of Americans access to these vital medicines at prices as much as 60 to 80 percent less than the cost of the same medicines in the U.S., all to protect Pharma’s ‘safe haven’ of the U.S. for the highest prices for prescription drug prices in the world.
What are the facts? Let's take a look at what a bogus pharmacy mailer looks like, and you decide if you are safer knowing the FDA, ostensibly designed to protect American's health is destroying authentic brand-name medicines at a time when 50 million Americans forego their medicines because they are unaffordable.
Publisher’s  Note: This bogus site comes from Russia (we have purposely removed the URL to avoid someone even mistakenly clicking through to the site).  Notice the misspelling (besst pricces).  This is a common error on such sites.  The quesiton:  Do you need the FDA to tell you this is an indication of a Bogus Pharmacy site?  You will notice continued misspellings throughout this blog.  That is because the material is exactly the way it is presented on the Russian Bogus Pharmacy mailer, and such misspelling is always a tip-off of a Bogus Pharmacy.

Let's look at the claimed 'best sellers':

Our Bestselllers! 
Text Box:  Viigara 0.38$        
 Levtirra 0.95$
 Cilaiis 1.29$
 Vigarra Sublingual 0.96$
 Feemale Viigarra $1.43$

Notice that all the claimed medicines are sexual performance-oriented and even those are misspelled...not a single maintenance medicine listed.
And, notice the pricing. No mention of what quantities of orders will be filled, or of the need for a valid, legitimate prescription from your Physician.
Next comes a segment, called : 

Ouur Beest Sides!
( This is apparently an attempt to convince Americans what good guys our Russian 'friends' are:)

* Lowest priices and best quality on the marrket!
* Mediical associations approoved produucts

* Worldwide shippiing, you can trrack shippiing progress
* All kind of goods in one place
* Official suppliiers* Unmarked parcel

* Gifts and discounts
* You can paay by VISA and AMEX
* 1-3 days deliivery for USA clients #NEW!
* Greater 0rder - bigger discount!

 The recent pricing crisis for medications in our country has led some policy-makers to talk of possible rationing since one specialty medicine--Solvadi from Gilead--can 'cure' Hepatitis C, the cost is prohibitive and would be more than the costs of ALL the medications sold in the US last year. (Solvadi costs $1000 per pill, the complete treatment is $80,000-100,000 estimated.)

Yet PhRMA, the trade association of the Pharmaceutical industry, justifies the cost, saying 'we' (the American public will realize savings elsewhere.  And, in so doing, we are subjected to a one-two punch in which Pharma treats us like serfs, using our tax dollars in much of their R&D, while the FDA tries to scare us to death by claiming that we cannot make intelligent, responsible health-care decisions in such matters as identifying a legitimate Tier One Country Pharmacy, so they will act on our behalf to deny our access to safe, affordable personally imported medicines.

Fortunately, you have a chance to stop this folly.  Already, several House of Representative members, and Senators have taken steps to halt funding to the FDA for the implementation of Section 708.  Others have taken steps to introduce legislation in support of personal importation.  There is almost certainly going to be an investigation of the FDA collusion with PhRMA on moves to set generic drug prices so high that it protects the 'safe haven' for the highest drug prices in the world, and, most recently, it appears there will be an investigation into the destruction of thousands of emails by the Health and Human Services exec responsible for the fiasco that was the Obamacare website roll-out.  Hopefully, this mismanagement by the HHS and its FDA operations will lead to even more in-depth investigations of just how far and how high Pharma influence on prescription prices goes.