Pharmacist-affiliated LegitScript.com going after online pharmacies

[Image: A CC-licensed photo by Steve Snodgrass, via Flickr]

If you followed the health care reform debate, you know many Americans pay out of pocket for prescription drugs. Online prescription companies have made it possible for many of us to get drugs we could not otherwise afford from "offshore" sources. Now, one of the most prominent offshore suppliers is telling customers "After recent action taken by LegitScript.com we have had to stop supplying customers within the USA." Alex Blaze at Bilerico reports:

LegitScript also wears their partnership with the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, which opposes drug reimportation from Canada, a cheaper alternative to American medications that was discussed during health care reform but was rejected mainly because it would save the average American $800 a year, which would come directly from the pharmaceutical industry (crazily enough, the NABP decries Canadian drugs as "unsafe," even though they help license pharmacies in nine provinces).
If this were about protecting people from shady online companies providing unsafe or counterfeit drugs, that would be one thing. But the blocked site, InHousePharmacy.com, has been providing great products and service for years. I know it's widely used by transgender people, who are far more likely to be priced out of insurance and privatized healthcare options. The alternative is dangerous black market hormones that used to be far too prevalent among low-income trans people. LegitScript feels like they're pulling a page from other protectionist trade organizations in the news, in order to maintain revenue streams for deep-pocket industries.

Inhousepharmacy.com stops shipping to the US (via Bilerico)

Since the LegitScript site is down (!) some extra info on the latest push, which includes action by Google against "rogue pharmacies": (News: Link 1, Link 2, Link 3).

[from http://www.legitscript.com/about]

What Can LegitScript Do For You?

LegitScript offers the following services.

Internet pharmacy verification.

LegitScript is the leading source of information for patients, Internet users, physicians, businesses and other third parties who need to know if an Internet pharmacy is acting in accordance with the law and accepted standards of ethics and safety. LegitScript is identified by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy as the only Internet pharmacy verification service that adheres to its standards. Currently, verification is offered as a free service to Internet pharmacies.

Prescription drug website monitoring

LegitScript monitors thousands of websites that facilitate the sale of prescription drugs via the Internet. We provide assistance to organizations that have a need for continuing oversight of large numbers of health-related websites to ensure compliance with relevant laws and policies.

Internet enforcement

LegitScript is the only Internet enforcement service focusing exclusively on the online pharmacy market, and we have provided investigative assistance to some of the worlds leading government agencies and corporations. We investigate and monitor online pharmacies using our unique network approach, which breaks down a seemingly infinite number of illicit online pharmacies into a manageable number of related groups (or networks). While other companies just look at one website at a time, LegitScript finds the links between thousands of related websites, allowing us to target hundreds of rogue websites simultaneously.

LegitScript™ is a registered trademark of LegitScript LLC.

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