PharmacyChecker Blog

Helping Americans Get The Truth About Prescription Drug Savings
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Trump Administration Announces FDA-Proposed Rule and Guidance to Allow Prescription Drug Importation

The FDA has done something that prescription drug importation advocates had possibly given up on.  Not me. The agency drafted a new proposed rule to allow importation from Canada of lower-cost drugs and industry guidance for drug manufacturers to import their FDA-approved foreign drug versions, for which they can charge lower prices. The proposed rule provides specifics so that states contemplating or already formulating wholesale drug importation programs have a shot at gaining approval for those programs, per Section 804 of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

Year after year after year, the media has reported Pharma’s talking point: No Secretary of Health and Human Services, Republican or Democrat, has been able to certify the safety of importation from Canada. That’s never been true, at least not exactly. It’s not that they haven’t been able. It’s that they haven’t been willing. Also, it’s not just certifying the safety, it’s certifying that there will be “no additional” safety risk – a high standard. Well, apparently it can be done. The FDA stated:

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Online Pharmacies, Personal Drug Importation and Public Health: Laws Governing Online Pharmacies

Is it legal to order medications online? Yes. If you live in the U.S., you can legally order medications online for mail order, such as from Walgreens or CVS. Is it legal to order medications from an online pharmacy located in a foreign country – to personally import it? Technically, no; but people who import small quantities of prescription medication for their own use, according to the FDA, are not prosecuted for doing so. There are a lot of nuances and quirky details when it comes to laws and regulations that apply to online pharmacies. Some laws are there to protect your health and safety; others seem more bent on protecting the profits of big drug companies – and there’s a lot in between. It’s complicated.

So this week, in our continuing quest to get the truth out and for our elected leaders in Congress to take bold action to protect online access to safe and affordable medication, we’re publishing the next section of our report called Online Pharmacies, Personal Drug Importation, and Public Health


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