Kidney Cancer Association endorses American Medical Association position on drug importation

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Expresses concern about the authenticity of imported medicines

The Kidney Cancer Association (KCA) endorses the American Medical Association's (AMA) vote this week to support the importation of prescription drugs by wholesalers and pharmacies when certain conditions are met to ensure patient safety. In addition, the KCA is pleased with the AMA's vote to place patient safety issues at a high and visible level of importance.

The KCA shares concerns over, as stated in the AMA report, of the “authenticity and quality of prescription drugs, already available in the U.S., that have been purchased by U.S. citizens in Mexico and from other foreign...sites." The AMA also raised concerns about Canadian Internet pharmacies being recommended by the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin, stating that these pharmacies have posed patient safety problems, through practices including the use of unsupervised technicians to fill prescriptions; the failure to properly label drugs or to refrigerate drugs that require refrigeration; and by selling products not authorized by the state programs. Patients must be protected from unapproved drugs that could be unsafe, expired, counterfeit, adulterated, misbranded or inappropriately labeled.

The KCA has previously expressed its reservations concerning a risky Internet drug importation scheme promoted by the State of Illinois, because of its inability to provide appropriate safeguards assuring purity of products and adequate protection for the consumer.

"Kidney cancer is a life-threatening disease that primarily affects older adults who also suffer from the many infirmities that come with the aging process," William P. Bro, the Association’s CEO said.

“We too, are opposed to personal importation via the Internet until safety can be guaranteed and we commend the AMA for taking such a conspicuous stand. Patient safety should be paramount in the importation issue - all cancer patients need and deserve to receive prescription drugs that are not tainted or counterfeit.”

The Kidney Cancer Association is an Illinois-based nonprofit organization that represents more than 64-thousand constituents in the U.S. and 90 other countries.

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Celeste Kelley