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A new initiative by another Big Pharma shill, the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP), was launched to protect American consumers from the dangers of online drug purchasing. The reality is ASOP continues to tell fibs under the guise of a fable to protect the profits of their funders.

Truth: ASOP was created by and is supported by Big Pharma to maintain the status quo: keep Big Pharma as the most profitable industry in the world. To accomplish this requires scare tactics.

Truth: rogues and other bad actors do exist and we should work together to stamp them out.

ASOP paints anyone as “not American” (or not NABP VIPPS-approved) as being a rogue and harming Americans. Using a skewed “statistical analysis” of online websites, they scare folks into thinking the only way to ensure your safety buying online is to purchase your medications from American online pharmacies. All others be damned to rogue status!

A long record indicates otherwise: there are safe and legitimate online pharmacies in Canada who have served Americans without harming their health. We know patients who have been using these pharmacies for years – again without any negative health consequences.

ASOP is run by FaegreBD, a large Washington, DC lobbying firm. Among their clients (past and present): Eli Lilly, Becton Dickinson, Baxter Healthcare, Merck, Orexigen, and the Pharmaceutical Distribution Security Alliance (PDSA). PSDA is noted as being “a coalition of more than 25 stakeholders from throughout the pharmaceutical distribution supply.” The membership in 2012 can be found on this list. No surprises there!

Big Pharma – through ASOP, NABP, and others – asserts that they are concerned about the “100,000 and 700,000 [who] people die every year from counterfeit drugs bought online[.]”

ASOP even goes further saying they are dedicated to “[p]rotecting patient safety globally and ensuring patients access to safe, approved medicine through legitimate law-abiding pharmacies” which they call their “top priority.”

Fair enough.

Except… they don’t seem as outraged when individuals are harmed by VIPPS-approved pharmacies (examples here and here) who harm American patients through dispensing errors. Their cries for safety don’t seem to reverberate with their own members illegally promote and market medications for unapproved uses.

Safety is and should be the top priority for any and all in the pharmaceutical supply chain. Affordability of medications should be priority #2. Profits should never trump either of those priorities.

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