• The Partnership for Safe Medicines Letter to Congress – February 28, 2017

    The Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM) today sent a letter to all members of Congress urging them to continue protecting Americans and stand against efforts that would allow substandard and even dangerous counterfeit medicines to flow freely across U.S. borders and into the hands of the American people. The letter, signed by nearly 170 groups, is reprinted in full below.  [UPDATE: List of signatories updated as of April 7, 2017.  See below.]

    February 28, 2017

    Dear Congress,

    As a coalition whose outreach and operations involve educating health care workers and patients in all fifty states, and whose membership is comprised of more than 60 organizations committed to the safety of prescription drugs and protecting U.S. consumers against counterfeit, substandard or otherwise unsafe medicines, the Partnership for Safe Medicines, its members and other interested stakeholders are deeply concerned that importation proposals will undermine America’s existing and proposed drug safety protocols.

    Whether offered broadly or for a narrow set of medications, there’s never a good time to sacrifice safety. No patient is served well by a drug from an unknown source, that has been stored under unknown conditions, and which contains unknown ingredients because it passed through unlicensed, foreign middlemen who operate beyond U.S. law.

    Drug importation advocates believe that drugs purchased from countries such as Canada and the United Kingdom are safe because of their strict health regulations. Unfortunately, this is simply not true. For example, many customers of “Canadian pharmacies” report getting their shipments straight from Pakistan, India, and Turkey. Additionally, a large share of medicines that flow through Canada are counterfeit, and while it may seem safe to import medicines from developed countries like Canada and Western Europe, those medicines may have originated from countries all over the world.

    Canadian law does not prohibit the transshipment of drugs from any country – including from countries with low manufacturing standards – into Canada and then on to the U.S. In fact, Canadian law explicitly states that the Canadian equivalent to the FDA does not have to inspect drugs for export.

    Moreover, Canadian pharmacists aren’t allowed to dispense to Americans without a Canadian physician’s prescription.
    Proposals allowing importation would undermine nearly two decades of drug safety policy. Large volume importation of prescription drugs could be permitted under current law only if the Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary was willing to certify that imported drugs “pose no additional risk to the public’s health and safety, and result in a significant reduction in the cost of covered products to the American consumer.” Recent HHS Secretaries have not been willing to certify such large scale importation as of no significant risk to the public health or that any potential cost savings would outweigh the resources that would be required to ensure the safety and efficacy of any imported products. We urge you to focus on protecting the nation’s drug supply to maintain access to safe medicines for US patients.

    With very best regards,

    Marv Shepherd, PhD
    President, Partnership for Safe Medicines
    Professor Emeritus
    College of Pharmacy
    University of Texas
    Austin, TX 78712

    National Organization Signatories

    Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy
    Action Cystic Fibrosis
    Advocates for Responsible Care
    Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP Global)
    Alliance for the Adoption of Innovations in Medicine (Aimed Alliance)
    Alzheimer’s & Dementia Resource Center
    American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy
    American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA)
    American Pharmacists Association
    Association for Accessible Medicines, formerly GPhA
    Caregiver Action Network
    Center for Healthcare Innovation
    Center for Medicine in the Public Interest
    Children’s Cause for Cancer Advocacy
    Colon Cancer Alliance
    Community Access National Network
    COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) Foundation
    Council for Citizens Against Government Waste
    Healthcare Distribution Alliance
    Healthcare Leadership Council
    International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition
    International Federation of Autoimmune and Autoinflammatory Diseases With Arthritis As a Major Component
    Kidney Cancer Association
    Lung Cancer Alliance
    Men’s Health Network
    National Alliance on Mental Illness
    National Association of Chain Drug Stores
    National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators
    National Association of Hepatitis Task Forces
    National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs (NANASP)
    National Black Justice Coalition
    National Black Nurses Association
    National Council of Asian Pacific Islander Physicians
    National Grange
    National Hispanic Council on Aging
    National Hispanic Medical Association
    National Medical Association
    National Minority Quality Forum
    National Retail Federation
    PCa (Prostate Cancer) Blue Inc.
    Pharmaceutical Industry Labor Management Association
    Pharmaceutical Security Institute
    Prostate Conditions Education Council
    Salud USA
    The AIDS Institute
    The Gerontological Society of America
    The Latino Coalition
    The Myositis Association
    The National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce
    The Veterans Health Council
    United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
    Vietnam Veterans of America
    Wellness and Education Community Action Health Network (WECAHN)

    State and Local Group Signatories

    AIDS Connecticut
    AIS Drug Assistance Programs Advocacy Association
    Alabama Pharmacy Association
    American Liver Foundation- Heartland Division
    American Liver Foundation, Pacific Coast Division
    Arizona Pharmacy Association
    Autoimmune Advocacy Alliance
    AXIS Pharmacy Northwest
    Bio Nebraska Life Sciences Association
    California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce
    California Hepatitis C Task Force
    Caring Ambassadors Program
    Center for Healthcare Services
    Centro de mi Salud
    Citrus Council, National Kidney Foundation of Florida Inc
    Colorado BioScience Association
    Community Health Action Network
    Community Health Charities of Nebraska
    Community Pharmacies
    Delaware Ecumenical Council on Children and Families
    Delaware HIV Consortium
    Des Moines WomenHeart
    Dia de la Mujer Latina
    DPClinical INC
    Easter Seals Iowa
    Easter Seals Massachusetts
    Easter Seals Nebraska
    Epilepsy Foundation Louisiana
    Epilepsy Foundation of Connecticut
    Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
    Frannie Peabody Center
    H.O.P.E.(Hepatitis,Organ Transplant,Patient,Education)
    HealthCare Institute of New Jersey
    Hemophilia Alliance of Maine
    Illinois Pharmacists Association
    Iowa Bio
    Iowa State Grange
    Kentucky Life Science Council
    Kentucky Pharmacists Association
    Lifelong AIDS Alliance
    Lupus Foundation New England
    Lupus Foundation of Florida
    Maine Pharmacy Association
    MANA, A National Latina Organization
    Massachusetts Independent Pharmacists Association
    Meals on Wheels Durham
    Meals on Wheels North Carolina
    Medical Oncology Association of Southern California, Inc. (MOASC)
    Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce
    Michigan Biosciences Industry Association (MichBio)
    Michigan Osteopathic Association
    Michigan Pharmacists Association
    Minnesota Pharmacists Association
    Missouri Pharmacy Association
    Montana Pharmacy Association
    National Alliance on Mental Illness – New Mexico
    National Alliance on Mental Illness – Texas
    National Alliance on Mental Illness of Washington
    National Hemophilia Foundation Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter
    Nebraska Pharmacists Association
    New Jersey Mayors Committee on Life Sciences
    New Mexico Biotechnology & Biomedical Association (NMBio)
    New Mexico Pharmacists Association
    North Carolina Association of Pharmacists
    North Carolina Biosciences Organization
    North Dakota Pharmacists Association
    North Dakota Pharmacy Service Corporation
    Northern Virginia (NOVA) ScriptsCentral
    Ohio Pharmacists Association
    Oklahoma Pharmacists Association
    One in Four Chronic Health
    Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association
    Project ReDirect DC
    Psychosocial Rehabilitation Association of New Mexico
    Rio Grande Valley Diabetes Association
    Scleroderma Foundation Washington Evergreen Chapter
    Seniors United
    Sisters Network Inc
    South Carolina Biotechnology Industry Organization (SCBIO)
    South Carolina Pharmacy Association
    Suicide Awareness Voices of Education
    Survivors Cancer Action Network Alabama
    Tennessee Men’s Health Network
    Tennessee Pharmacists Association`
    Texas Healthcare and Bioscience Institute
    Texas Life Sciences Collaboration Center
    Texas Pharmacy Association
    TexHealth Central Texas
    The Kim Foundation
    The Senior Citizens Council of Greater Augusta and the CSRA, Georgia, Inc
    Utah Pharmacy Association
    Utah Support Advocates for Recovery Awareness
    Vietnamese Social Services of Minnesota
    Virginia Breast Cancer Foundation
    Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
    Visiting Nurse Association of Pottawattamie County
    Visiting Nurse Association of the Midlands
    Washington State Pharmacy Association
    Wellness and Education Community Action Health Network (WECAHN)
    West Virginia Pharmacists Association
    Wisconsin Rheumatology Association
    Wisconsin State Grange
    Wound Care Clinic – ESU
    Wyoming Epilepsy Association

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