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Personal Prescription Importation from Licensed Pharmacies is Safe - So Why Update the FDA Site?

Updated: Jan 24, 2023

The Campaign for Personal Prescription Importation (CPPI) is raising concerns over recently FDA’s new webpage on “How to Buy Medicines Safely From an Online Pharmacy,” which aligns dangerously with the stance of Big Pharma special interests. The CDC estimates that over 4 million Americans depend on buying their medications from abroad because they can’t afford medicines sold in the U.S. The U.S. government has long recognized that imported medicines are safe. So why is the FDA now updating its importation webpage?

“The good news is that personal prescription importation from certified, licensed pharmacies is safe. The bad news is that Big Pharma lobbyists and misinformation campaigns are influencing the FDA to scare Americans from accessing safe prescription medications from licensed international pharmacies,” says Jack Pfeiffer, Executive Director of CPPI.

The new FDA webpage incorporates language often used by front groups – funded by big pharmaceutical companies – to scare Americans about the safety of importation. These same front groups habitually use false information in an attempt to link online prescription medication sales to opioids. However, safe, licensed international pharmacies like those certified by the Canadian International Pharmacy Association can't and don’t sell opioids, fentanyl, or controlled substances online. So why is the FDA posting this new webpage? Big Pharma has long pushed misinformation against international pharmacies that have highlighted the outrageous U.S. pharmaceutical pricing. Could Big Pharma lobbying and misinformation campaigns be permeating the FDA?

Jerry Phillips of Holiday, Florida, reports, “I am a volunteer for the State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) and help seniors with their Medicare questions and issues. The single biggest problem that these seniors face is the cost of new, highly advertised, and promoted drugs. I personally use a Canadian pharmacy to get one of my medications. This saves me $800 annually and allows me to take the medication. Without this option, I could not afford it.”

Beverly Roland from Austin, Texas says, “having a licensed, approved Canadian pharmacy fill my husband's prescription for Glaucoma drops is an eye-saver. The first order for one of his drops will cost him over $1,000, which includes the deductible. Insurance moved the drug from Tier 3 to Tier 4 in addition to raising the cost for 2022.”

Beverly and Jerry are members of CPPI - a non-profit advocacy organization that represents over 100,000 Americans who import their prescription medications from Canada in order to access affordable drugs. Comparatively, CPPI members have higher medication adherence and reported average annual savings on prescription medications of $3,744 in 2021. CPPI drug price comparisons regularly show savings of 50-90% on leading name-brand prescription medications. The licensed Canadian pharmacies that CPPI recommends and which members overwhelmingly rely on boast 100% safety records over 20 years in operation.

Rigorous testing and analysis from independent studies show that patients receive lawfully manufactured, high-quality medication when online orders are placed with licensed pharmacies. Under both the Trump and Biden administrations the FDA has worked to advance importation as a solution to high drug prices. Over 72% of the drug supply sold in U.S. pharmacies, vetted by the FDA, is imported safely from foreign countries.

Beverly, Jerry and CPPI members across the country want to know, “Why is the FDA making it more difficult for Americans to access affordable medicines from safe, licensed Canadian pharmacies?”

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