Op-eds: Canadian and American regulators, law enforcement and patient advocates oppose drug importation
Since 2000, every head of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has opposed drug importation because the benefits that might be gained are far outweighed by the many dangers. Law enforcement, patient advocates, pharmacy groups, and regulators agree.
In an editorial published in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Louis J. Freeh, former director of the FBI and former federal judge, warns that allowing American citizens to purchase medicine from foreign countries puts them at risk from counterfeit drugs, would incentive criminal organizations to make counterfeit drugs, and places more stress on law enforcement efforts to combat the issue.
George Karavetsos, former head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations wrote this editorial for the Miami Herald on May 6, 2017.
The Morning Consult recently published an op-ed by Libby Baney, the Executive Director of the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP Global), a nonprofit dedicated to addressing the growing public health threat of illegal online pharmacies. In the piece, Ms. Baney stated that drug importation proposals are not a safe or effective way to address the rising cost of prescription drugs . . .
Ronald Piervincenzi, CEO of the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention describes the dangerous flaws in any plan to open up U.S. borders to wholesale prescription medication importation from Canada.
The Washington Examiner recently ran an op-ed by Charlie Cichon, the Executive Director of the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators. In it he explained how the opioid crisis will only be made worse if the U.S. allows drug importation.
The Newfoundland and Labrador Pharmacy Board (NLPB), which governs and regulates all pharmacies operating in their Canadian province, has written a letter to the U.S. Congress, which bluntly states, “the importation of medicines from Canada is not the solution.”
The College of Pharmacists of Manitoba (CPM), the regulatory authority in the Canadian province of Manitoba that oversees safe pharmacy practice, wrote to the United States Congress requesting that they reject the current importation bill.
On March 22, the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), which represents 64,000 pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, pharmacy students and other pharmacy professionals wrote a letter to Congress opposing plans to legalize importation of non-FDA approved drugs. These proposals, they wrote, are “in direct conflict with recent efforts by Congress and federal agencies to increase the integrity and security of the U.S. drug supply.”
The Washington Post reports that the four most recent FDA commissioners have warned Congress that American patients will suffer if they import drugs from other countries, citing fake, substandard and contaminated drugs as potential consequences.
On Tuesday, February 28, Allan Coukell, Senior Director of Health Programs for the Pew Charitable Trusts, wrote Senator Bernie Sanders to ask that he not undermine safety protections for medication with the Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act.