PharmacyChecker Blog

Helping Americans Get The Truth About Prescription Drug Savings
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Opposition Mounts to Control by NABP of “.Pharmacy” Web Domain – Seen as Threat to Consumers Seeking Affordable Medication from Pharmacies Outside U.S.

The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) has applied to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to operate the registry .Pharmacy (dot pharmacy). Opposition to the application is picking up steam. Many believe that NABP’s efforts will merely serve to protect U.S. pharmacy and pharmaceutical interests at the expense of the public health by barring competition from safe non-U.S., international online pharmacies, which sell the same prescription drugs sold in the U.S. at a much lower price. Not only is the NABP application to ICANN is funded by pharmaceutical companies, but NABP’s named “Partners” in the ICANN application include Eli Lilly, a large drug company and the National Association of Chain Drugstores, a trade association representing the largest American pharmacy chains.

Opposition to NABP’s application to ICANN for .Pharmacy Registry

Public Citizen Position on NABPs Application to ICANN for .Pharmacy Position on NABPs Application to ICANN for.Pharmacy Position on NABPs Application to ICANN for .Pharmacy

If given the power to oversee the registry for the .Pharmacy top-level domain, the NABP would decide which websites are permitted to use the .Pharmacy ending in their web address. It appears that the NABP’s proposed registry rules would prohibit registry to websites of safe international online pharmacies (such as websites run by licensed Canadian pharmacies) if they sell internationally to Americans. The lack of a “.Pharmacy” address by such pharmacies could frighten Americans away from using them. Considering that tens of millions of Americans don’t take medication due to high U.S. drug prices, discouraging or blocking access to affordable medication is unconscionable.

As recognized in a letter sent from to NABP, it does not have to be this way. The goal of providing a trusted marketplace for consumers who are searching online for safe and affordable medication can be served with a .Pharmacy website program. However, to provide the greatest benefit to consumers, ALL online pharmacies, U.S., Canadian, or otherwise, that sell authentic medication and require prescriptions should be eligible to obtain a .Pharmacy site, regardless of who they sell to. Unless the NABP agrees to adopt registry rules fostering an open and free Internet, one that maximizes access to safe and affordable medication, its application should be rejected by ICANN.

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Candidate Rick Santorum Defends High Drug Prices In America

During a recent campaign appearance in front of a Tea Party crowd, as reported by ABC News, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum told a mother and her sick son that high drug costs are fair because they are determined by free market forces. It appears that Mr. Santorum doesn’t understand the crisis of prescription drug prices and that the market is failing to price prescription drugs within reach for 10s of millions of Americans.

According to ABC News, “Santorum told a large Tea Party crowd here that he sympathized with the boy’s case, but he also believed in the marketplace,” and that companies wouldn’t be making the life-saving drugs if they didn’t believe they would turn a profit doing so. The former senator from Pennsylvania seemed to be lecturing the American people when he said: “People have no problem paying $900 for an iPad…but paying $900 for a drug they have a problem with — it keeps you alive. Why? Because you’ve been conditioned to think health care is something you can get without having to pay for it.” (more…)

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Affordable Generic Lipitor Coming to Your Bricks and Mortar U.S. Pharmacy Soon

As reported in the The Inquisitr, due to generic competition, Lipitor prices are going to plummet in the near future, a relief not only to American patients but to U.S. doctors who often find their patients not taking their cholesterol medication due to cost. In discussing his patients, Dr. Thomas Haffey stated in the article:

They often make tough decisions about whether they eat or whether they take the medicines… Any time you can reduce the costs of quality health care, we certainly are happy and encouraged about that.

High drug prices in the United States lead to 10s of millions of Americans not taking needed medication each year. The end of Pfizer’s patent on Lipitor means that Americans will now be able to more easily afford Atorvastatin – the generic name for Lipitor – in local U.S. pharmacies. As of the end of this month, according The Missourian, a three-month supply of generic Lipitor will cost $30. And the Inquisitr article suggests that within six months generic Lipitor will be priced at $5 for a one-month supply.

To maintain market share, Pfizer, the manufacturer of Lipitor, may come up with some competitive sales strategies. For instance, Pfizer may cut costs for insured Americans to only $4/month co-pays. Pfizer is also pushing to market an over-the-counter version of Lipitor, however it is not yet approved for sale.

According to our research, U.S. prices for a 90-day supply of Lipitor 20mg at a New York City CVS costs $535.99, compared to $85.70 at the lowest cost online pharmacy approved by – a savings of 84%. So if you want the brand name drug you may be better off with low-cost online pharmacies. But, come the end of November, the best prices for generic Lipitor will soon be available in the good old USA.

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