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NABP and Opioid Death in the U.S.

Using very similar talking points to Big Pharma-funded experts, in its quest to “educate” the public about the dangers of internet pharmacies and personal medicine imports, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) appears to have ignored the greatest pharmacy-related public health travesty happening right under its nose. Since the beginning of this century, billions of prescription opioid pills were wrongly, and in many cases unlawfully, pushed on and distributed to Americans. The result is about 500,000 deaths since 1999. The main culprits in sowing this drug epidemic are usually identified as big pharmaceutical companies and distributors.

Citing the case of the Rochester Drug Cooperative, I have asked before where the NABP was in tackling this opioid crisis. I was mostly referring to its quasi-regulatory role in certifying wholesale pharmacies through its Verified-Accredited Wholesale Distributors (VAWD) program because all major distributors accredited through VAWD – AmerisourceBergen, McKesson, and Cardinal Health – have been implicated in the opioid epidemic. As reported in the New York Times last week, a new court filing provides details showing how major U.S. pharmacy retail giants – including Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, and Walmart – were “as complicit in perpetuating the crisis as the manufacturers and distributors of the addictive drugs.”

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REVIEW: The Opioid Crisis in America Course from Harvard University

Over 700,000 people died in the U.S. from a drug overdose between 1999 to 2017. That’s about 130 American deaths daily. At PharmacyChecker, we are dedicated to helping fight this epidemic by learning more about the crisis and spreading awareness. I recently obtained certification for The Opioid Crisis in America course offered by Harvard University.

According to a report published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the main channels that people obtain opioid drugs illegally are from a friend or relative for free; buying from a friend or relative; or buying from a drug dealer or stranger.

As our main focus is often online pharmacy and importation, it’s notable that Harvard did not identify online pharmacy or importation as contributors to the opioid epidemic.

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NABP-Accredited Rochester Drug Cooperative Pleads Guilty to Illegal Opioid Drug Sales

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.

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