While reading Benjamin Gluck’s Internet Pharmacy Law blog, I came across a reference to an “Internet pharmacy verification and information service” I hadn’t yet heard of: LegitScript.

I like the professed mission of LegitScript: to improve online pharmacy safety by offering a database that allows consumers to enter a pharmacy’s name and find out whether it’s legitimate or not. LegitScript apparently intends to make money by providing a verification seal to online pharmacies that meet its standards. I say “apparently” because LegitScript verification is currently provided free of charge.

All of which sounds fine — until you look a little closer.

You see, LegitScript claims ALL Canadian pharmacies are unsafe. Even the most established, reputable pharmacies — licensed and inspected by the Canadian government — get classified as rogue online pharmacies by LegitScript.

Is this because these pharmacies are actually unsafe? Of course not. Consumer Reports — not exactly a rogue organization — advises consumers to buy from Canadian pharmacies. And FDA officials cannot identify a single American injured as a result of drugs purchased from licensed Canadian pharmacies.

So what’s this nonsense about? And more pointedly, what is LegitScript really about?

Well, just doing a little Googling, I found out a few things about LegitScript.

I discovered that its founder, John Horton, was a White House aide for George W. Bush from 2002 to 2007, serving in the office of National Drug Control Policy. I learned that Horton had given money to the 2008 presidential campaign of Mitt Romney, the candidate most strongly in the corner of Big Pharma in its fight against Canadian drug reimportation. The company is based in the Washington, D.C., area, home of the Big Pharma lobby. All of which makes me wonder who’s funding LegitScript — and why.

As we’ve reported here before, Big Pharma and its proxies, like the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy and the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest, have dramatically stepped up their disinformation campaign against Canadian drugs in recent months.

Why now? Clearly, it’s because both John McCain and Barack Obama have promised to legalize consumer purchases of Canadian drugs. With public support for drug reimportation at 80 percent, how can you blame them?

So Big Pharma has got to spread enough nonsense — scare enough people — to bring those poll numbers down. That way, Big Pharma’s water-carriers in Congress can feel comfortable blocking any proposed reimportation legislation.

Who knows? Maybe LegitScript’s ambition is to displace PharmacyChecker as the verification system that Google uses to vet pharmacies for its ad network. If LegitScript were successful in doing this, no Canadian pharmacies would be allowed to advertise through Google — a major victory for the U.S. pharmaceutical industry.

I’m speculating here, of course. But I’m wondering if eDrugSearch.com, PharmacyChecker, RxRightsCIPA, MIPA, IMPAC, Consumer Reports, and others who support the right of Americans to purchase drugs from safe and licensed Canadian pharmacies should band together to challenge this disinformation campaign.

What say you, friends?

Here are some other groups that support personal drug importation from licensed Canadian pharmacies:

Source: www.govtrack.us