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.
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