PharmacyChecker Blog

Helping Americans Get The Truth About Prescription Drug Savings
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U.S. Government Fed Up With Pharmaceutical Prices – FDA To The Rescue?

In March of this year the FDA took the unusual step of allowing an “unapproved” compounded drug to remain on the market to explicitly make sure Americans could afford that product. That drug is hydroxyprogesterone caproate, branded by K-V Pharmaceuticals as Makena, the first FDA-approved drug to prevent the risk of preterm birth in certain women. Will more such government interventions continue in support of drug affordability?

According to the Wall Street Journal Blog,“Typically, whenever a drug is approved, pharmacy compounding isn’t allowed and the FDA acts to remove any unapproved drugs that might on be the U.S. market.” However, the FDA is allowing the compound to remain solely because of the outrageous cost for the brand-name product; Makena is priced at $1,500 per dose! Before Makena was approved, the same drug without the K-V branding and FDA stamp of approval cost between $10 – 20 per dose.

To the best of our knowledge, the FDA’s role does not include controlling prices to help Americans have access to the medication they need. However, that is precisely what the FDA did in the case of Makena. In our opinion, that’s also what the FDA does by not enforcing certain personal drug importation laws that, if enforced, would prevent Americans from affording needed medication. Currently, under its personal drug importation policy, the FDA has stated it does not take enforcement action against individuals who import non-controlled medicines, which are generally (and ironically) viewed as not FDA-approved even if they’re the exact same drug sold here, often due to labelling or pill color and shape differences between otherwise identical products. (more…)

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ICANN Decides Not To Attend White House Meeting About Online Pharmacies

The White House held a meeting this past Wednesday, to which ICANN, domain registrars and registries were invited, to address the sale of counterfeit prescription medication and illegal online activity. PharmacyChecker obviously supports actions against rogue online pharmacies that pose a danger to patients, but has concerns that, due to pharmaceutical industry interests and recommendations, government efforts to shut down rogue sites might escalate to affect online pharmacies that provide a lifeline to Americans seeking safe and affordable medication online. We drafted a letter to ICANN recommending that that they not play a role in settling public policy and legal disputes on behalf of national governments, particularly in this case where pharmaceutical interests appear overly represented. ICANN seems to have agreed with our position. (more…)

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Canadian Pharmacies and Personal Drug Importation Play Critical Role in Greater Healthcare Benefits for Americans

At the beginning of the 21st century, what started out as a trickle of American seniors buying drugs in Canada in order to save money, turned into millions of Americans over the past decade buying their drugs from Canadian and other international pharmacies. At that time, the demand was largely due to the fact that Medicare did not include a drug benefit, and tens of millions of seniors had to pay entirely out-of-pocket for their prescriptions drugs. Not only has this industry helped millions of Americans afford prescription drugs and created public awareness about international drug price disparities, but it has affected U.S. healthcare policy, leading to greater health coverage. (more…)

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