This week was a breakthrough for holding accountable the pharmaceutical industry for fueling the opioid crisis, which is responsible for approximately 400,000 deaths in the U.S. alone. In a landmark ruling, a judge in Oklahoma fined Johnson & Johnson $572 million for deceptive and aggressive marketing practices of opioid drugs that contributed to 6,000 deaths in that state. State prosecutors were successful by charging the drug company under laws relating to “public nuisances.” To remedy and remove the nuisance, the fine will go toward treatment, education and prevention programs related to opioid drugs. This resonates powerfully with me because, for years, I’ve observed how the drug industry abused the opioid crisis as a lobbying and public relations tool against prescription drug importation and to crack down against safe international online pharmacies, and even against PharmacyChecker. It has done so through its own trade associations and companies and by funding organizations to do their bidding.(more…)Tagged with: Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies, Johnson and Johnson, National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP), opioid crisis, Partnership for Safe Medicines
Increasingly frustrated with the state of drug costs in the U.S., millions of Americans have found refuge in ordering necessary prescription medications online from Canadian or other international pharmacies for roughly a tenth the cost of those at their local Walgreens, CVS, or other pharmacy.
For many years, consumers have been relieved to find the international savings option after a simple search on Google or Bing. Among top search results for the words “online pharmacies,” there was a list of the safest international online pharmacies that sell to consumers in the U.S. and also facts about the benefits and risks of online pharmacies, including obtaining lower cost medication from licensed pharmacies abroad. That is, until recently.
Unfortunately, we know that Google and Bing are working with Big Pharma funded groups and programs. We believe this has led to censorship of affordable medication access on the Internet.
So, we’ve also started a petition to #StopBigPharma.
Americans used to be given a fair chance to research all options for savings on their prescription medications.
But now? Now, things look a little different.(more…)Tagged with: Bing, Censorship, Change.org, Google
Americans overwhelmingly believe that drug prices are unreasonably high in our country. Millions have looked to the Internet to find lower drug prices at pharmacies in other countries, many because they have no other choice. For over 16 years, PharmacyChecker has provided online pharmacy verification and drug price comparison information to help these people. As I’ve written about for years, the drug companies and U.S. pharmacy corporations don’t like this and take actions to make it stop.
PharmacyChecker has filed a lawsuit against organizations and companies that we allege are illegally conspiring to “to choke off information about personal importation of affordable prescription medications from regulated, reputable pharmacies in Canada and elsewhere overseas.”
The defendants in the case are the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP), LegitScript, Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP), Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies (CSIP), and the Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM). We allege that they have directly and illegally targeted PharmacyChecker.com.(more…)Tagged with: Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies, Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies, LegitScript, NABP, National Associations of Boards of Pharmacy, Partnership for Safe Medicines, Sherman and Clayton Acts, tarbell
Rochester Drug Cooperative, a large pharmacy wholesaler accredited by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP), pleaded guilty last week to illegal sales of opioid drugs, including oxycodone and fentanyl. The NABP operates a program called Verified Authorized Wholesale Distribution (VAWD). According to its website, NABP VAWD accreditation helps “ensure that the wholesale distribution facility operates legitimately, is licensed in good standing, and is employing security and best practices for safely distributing prescription drugs from manufacturers to pharmacies and other institutions.”
The nation’s largest pharmacy wholesalers, McKesson, Amerisource Bergen, and Cardinal Health – companies with many NABP-accredited facilities – have all paid fines related to civil or criminal charges of illegal opioid drug sales, including fentanyl. Along with large drug companies, like Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson, and Insys Therapeutics, the main arteries of American’s “legitimate” drug distribution supply chain are accused of causing the opioid epidemic with 218,000 opioid-related deaths over the last 20 years.(more…)Tagged with: NABP, opioids, VAWD, wholesale
Earlier this week, a report (the “FGI Report”) opposing prescription drug importation proposals was released by the law firm of Freeh, Sporkin and Sullivan LLP and the Freeh Group International. Both organizations are headed by former FBI Director, Louis Freeh. I’m hesitant to criticize reports authored by dedicated Americans who spent years in public service protecting the safety of the American people in federal law enforcement. On the other hand, the intent of tacking the name of a venerated American patriot on a report that mirrors the lobbying agenda of the pharmaceutical industry is clearly being used to deter voices opposed to that agenda.
Summing it all up: this report was commissioned, I believe, by the drug company-funded group Partnership for Safe Medicines or a similar organization. As noted in the report’s title, it’s an addendum to an earlier report published in late 2017, one that was promoted at a Partnership for Safe Medicines media event at the National Press Club.(more…)Tagged with: Alex Azar, Louis Freeh, Partnership for Safe Medicines
This week, Wendell Potter, healthcare advocate and publisher of non-profit media outlet Tarbell, called out a slew of drug industry experts for undermining efforts to lower drug prices. This includes the likes of Sally Pipes of the Pacific Research Institute, the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies, and the Partnership for Safe Medicines. All use the specter of counterfeit drugs and the opioid crisis to scare the American public away from safe personal importation via online pharmacies.
Recipients of Drug Company Donations
Who is called out?
- Sally Pipes, from the Pacific Research Institute, because in an op-ed opposing drug importation, Ms. Pipes obtusely connects Americans ordering drugs from Canada with the many tragic deaths in low-income countries from counterfeit drugs.
- The Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP) for peddling false information about World Health Organization studies and counterfeit drugs.
- The Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM) for using the opioid crisis as a tool to oppose importation of regular, less expensive prescription medicine.