When you’re on the right side of an argument, people with a vested interest in defeating you will try almost anything to win. So it is with the big-money opponents of Canadian drug reimportation, who have been pulling out all the stops to convince Americans that buying medications from properly licensed Canadian pharmacies is unsafe.
The No.1 tactic that Big Pharma-backed groups are currently using is to employ clever rhetoric to lump licensed Canadian pharmacies in with dangerous rogue pharmacies — criminal organizations that operate in the shadows.
We’ve obviously written on this topic before, but over the weekend it hit close to home — as John Horton, former Bush White House aide and founder of a Web site called LegitScript — called into question the practices of one of our member pharmacies, CanadaDrugs.com. You can see Horton’s charges in the comments here.
Horton specifically states that CanadaDrugs.com “isn’t getting its drugs from Canada, but in fact from Turkey, which is a transshipment point for counterfeit or adulterated drugs.”
Remember what I was saying about clever rhetoric? This is a brilliant example of it, because it insinuates that CanadaDrugs.com is doing something wrong — without a shred of evidence to support this insinuation.
Here are the facts, as per CanadaDrugs.com:
- CanadaDrugs.com operates a fully licensed Canadian pharmacy.
- CanadaDrugs.com is a marketing portal that allows consumers to place orders with licensed dispensaries around the world. When you view the detail for a product page, it clearly states which dispensary will be filling the order for that particular package.
- CanadaDrugs.com works with companies like U.K. Pharmacy Services, which is based (and licensed) in the U.K. to fill orders for medications based in the European Union.
- U.K. Pharmacy Services dispenses medications under U.K. pharmaceutical laws and regulations that oversee the safety and efficacy of the dispensing practices and products sold to consumers. Turkish medications are dispensed in some cases, as is consistent with U.K. pharmaceutical law and in keeping with the standards of practice for U.K. pharmacies. This has been a common practice in the U.K. for many years, and is regulated by the British government.
- PharmacyChecker ensures that all CanadaDrugs.com dispensaries are duly licensed in their respective jurisdictions and that CanadaDrugs.com follows guidelines to ensure the safety of online consumers purchasing pharmaceutical products.
In summary: You have nothing to fear from CanadaDrugs.com, according to PharmacyChecker and according to the Canadian government.
John Horton also mentions the case of RxNorth, which is an odd one. My understanding is that RxNorth was never charged with a single crime and that the medication lot number that supposedly included counterfeit drugs was never identified by the FDA. RxNorth was never shut down, either. In fact, it was sold to CanadaDrugs.com.
Andrew Strempler, the founder of RxNorth and a licensed pharmacist, has certainly never hidden in the shadows, either. He’s been a public figure for years, profiled in the New York Times, Fortune and the Wall Street Journal. He’s easy to find if the authorities have evidence that he’s done something wrong; you can track him down through his LinkedIn profile or his blog if you’d like.
One final point: John Horton strongly suggests that Canadian authorities don’t particularly care whether the drugs its pharmacies ship to U.S. residents are safe or not. In other words, the licensing process that Canadian provincial governments use to approve and regulate online pharmacies is a sham.
Does anyone buy this argument? If so, remember: There is not, to my knowledge, a single documented instance of a U.S. consumer being harmed by the wrong drug, or an adulterated drug, shipped by a properly licensed Canadian pharmacy. This is pretty amazing — especially when you consider that even U.S. pharmacies make mistakes from time to time.172