PharmacyChecker Blog

Helping Americans Get The Truth About Prescription Drug Savings
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Trump’s Pakistani Imported Chloroquine Phosphate: FDA Inspections vs. EU Testing to Ensure Drug Safety

In late March, drug giant Bayer Pharmaceuticals, out of the goodness of its heart, agreed to donate three million tablets of chloroquine phosphate to help the Trump administration get this drug into U.S. pharmacies. That’s according to an investigative article in Vanity Fair by Katherine Eban, called:

“‘Really Want to Flood NY and NJ’: Internal Documents Reveal Team Trump’s Chloroquine Master Plan”

How inflammatory?! For Trump lovers, that title has the ring of just more biased, liberal media Trump-bashing. For Trump haters, it’s another reason to hate Trump. This post isn’t about our constant partisan divide or even Bayer or other evil drug companies, although they are referenced. It’s also not about unproven treatments for Covid-19 (that was last week). All parties should be interested in the story behind the story: independent drug testing and its potential importance to determine if a drug is safe and effective.  

I’m a big fan of testing prescription drugs to see if they have the right stuff (to put it eloquently). Here’s why: lots of pharma-funded groups and some people at the FDA say don’t buy medicine online from foreign countries because it’s allegedly unsafe. Yet, independent testing of about a thousand prescription drug orders has shown that personal drug importation can and is done very safely. Periodic testing of foreign online pharmacy medication orders over the last decade has proven the efficacy of brand name Celebrex, Lipitor, Nexium, Viagra and Zoloft; generic ciprofloxacin and atorvastatin; and, just last month, hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine phosphate.

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Through the Looking Glass: Is FDA really the “Gold Standard” in Drug Safety?

Canada believes it is too small to facilitate U.S. wholesale importation of lower-cost drugs. This post will explore a much greater potential for importation from the European Union.

Opponents of Americans buying less expensive drugs from overseas pharmacies (i.e. personal importation) often rely on the common belief that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration exemplifies the “gold standard” in drug safety. This “gold standard” importation talking point from the Pharmaceutical and Researchers of America (PhRMA) fuels Americans’ fear of ordering medication internationally despite proof that importation can be very safe and provide financial relief and better adherence to prescriptions:

“The United States is the gold standard when it comes to regulating the safety of our medicine supply. Importing medicines from countries that do not have our same strong standards could taint our medicine supply.”

The first sentence is something you are supposed to take at face value. The second sentence is deceptively broad: as in, yes, importing medicines from countries that do not have our “same” standards could taint our medicine supply. Not necessarily, but it could.

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Hitting Pause on Criticism of the FDA, Just for Today

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is just one agency out of the many that make up the United States Department of Health and Human Services and, from PharmacyChecker’s relatively small (non-regulatory) role of helping verify online pharmacies to protect public health, I’ve learned just how insanely massive its mandate is. I’ve also witnessed and participated in its criticism, and with good reason: the agency is not honest or forthcoming about personal drug importation; its drug approval process is “inherently biased”; due to the “revolving door,” the FDA is too cozy with Big Pharma; and many other things. Wikipedia has an extremely long page aptly called Criticism of the Food and Drug Administration, much of it having to do with its role with prescription drugs, and less so other sectors, such as food, tobacco and cosmetics.  

Whily my advocacy initiatives implore the FDA to bring more balance, commonsense and fairness to regulating and providing consumer education about personal imports of prescription drugs, I’ve realized that I should practice the same in how I talk about the FDA. So, without further ado, a moment of praise amongst the criticism:

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