Americans Speak Out Against New FDA Regulations to Destroy Their Imported Medications

PharmacyChecker.com published almost 2000 consumer comments showing that Americans are concerned about new federal regulations expanding the authority of the FDA to destroy safe drug imports for personal use. PharmacyChecker.com submitted public comments to the FDA, offering suggestions that would protect access by Americans to safe and affordable prescription drugs.

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Without the ability to go outside the US, I will not be able to afford the medication I need.

White Plains, NY (PRWEB) July 08, 2014

PharmacyChecker.com announced the publication on its website of almost 2000 comments by Americans who import medication for personal use that explain why they import medications and why they are concerned with new proposed FDA regulations for destroying prescription drug orders. The comments, such as the three examples below, are representative of the serious fears Americans have about the new regulations forcing them to go without needed medications (pharmacychecker.com/pdf/comments-by-americans-concerned-section-708-fdasia.pdf):

Morton Ross, Palm Harbor, FL 2014-04-03, “The Meds I take daily, are the difference between 'Life and Death.' I cannot afford the higher prices at local pharmacies.”

Darilyn Schlie, Fort Worth, TX 2014-04-03, “Without the ability to go outside the US, I will not be able to afford the medication I need.”

James Marshall, Nashville, TN 2014-04-03, “I have emphysema and could not afford my medications if not for being able to order some of them from outside the USA.”

Under Section 708 of the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA), the FDA has new authority to destroy small packages of safe prescription drugs that are refused import. However, before implementing the new regulation the government must issue regulations – as a proposed rule – with a public comment period of 60 days. The regulations must allow consumers “appropriate due process” to “challenge the decision” of the FDA to destroy their imported prescription drugs. PharmacyChecker.com submitted public comments criticizing the proposed rule for not providing for appropriate due process and to offer recommendations for an improved final regulation. In the first paragraph of the public comments, Gabriel Levitt, vice president of PharmacyChecker.com, invoked the stories of real Americans who buy medication internationally:

"Prescription drug prices are often eight times more expensive in U.S. pharmacies than in foreign pharmacies [1]. About five million Americans import prescription drugs for personal use each year due to lower drug prices outside the U.S [2]. As part of a petition on Change.org launched in April of this year, almost 2000 self-identifying Americans left comments stating why they import prescription medication for their own use and their serious concerns about Section 708. The relevant FDA personnel should read them before drafting the final regulation to put Section 708 into effect."

Mr. Levitt added: “The proposed rule neither provides appropriate due process as mandated by law, nor seeks to acknowledge the public health risks of seizing and destroying safe imported prescription drugs. Without proper and compassionate regulatory restraint, or even better, drug importation legal reform, Americans face serious potential adverse health effects if their medications are detained in the first place, not to mention refused import and destroyed because of Section 708.”

According to RxRights.org, a coalition of 80,000+ Americans, “Consumer and aging rights groups are expressing alarm that the rule will endanger the public health." That group has launched a petition in the form of a letter to the new Secretary of Health and Human Services asking her to prevent regulations that could exacerbate obstacles to safe personal drug importation.

PharmacyChecker.com was founded by Tod Cooperman, M.D. in 2002 to help consumers safely save money on medication by identifying the lowest drug prices from reputable online pharmacies. PharmacyChecker.com independently checks the credentials of online pharmacies and pharmacy discount cards, and provides free and easy online comparisons of drug prices. It has no ownership in or from pharmacies or drug companies.

Contact: Gabriel Levitt, Vice President, PharmacyChecker.com: 718-387-4526 or gabriel.levitt(at)pharmacychecker(dot)com.

[1] See pharmacychecker. com/news/online_pharmacy_prescription_savings_obamacare_2013.asp [Last accessed 7/6/2014].

[2] Cohen RA, Kirzinger WK, Gindi RM, “Strategies used by adults to reduce their prescription drug costs,” NCHS data brief, no 119. April 2013. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2013. NCHS data shows that approximately 2% of the adult U.S. population imports prescription medication for personal use on an annual basis.


Contact

  • Gabriel Levitt
    PharmacyChecker.com
    (718) 387-4526
    Email