GIPC Registers Support for House Introduction of the Online Pharmacy Safety Act

Today the House of Representatives introduced an important piece of legislation, the Online Pharmacy Safety Act (H.R. 4095), which will advance consumer online safety as it pertains to ordering prescriptions online. Under the leadership of Rep. Bill Cassidy M.D. (R-LA) and Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR), this bill protects consumers by closing a loophole in the definition of a “valid prescription” and creating a public registry of legitimate online pharmacies.

This legislation couldn’t come at a more appropriate time. As more and more Americans turn to the Internet to fill their prescriptions, they lack the tools to make an informed choice about which online pharmacies are legitimate and which are dangerous or outright scams. While counterfeit cancer medications and fake malaria vaccinations make headlines, everyday consumers are still unaware that the medicines they are buying from unreliable online pharmacies could also be ineffective or dangerous counterfeits. Unfortunately, questionable online pharmacies with sophisticated platforms are filling orders without a single visit to a doctor or a pharmacist available to answer questions.

The registry created by H.R. 4095 will provide consumers with a reliable guide for trusted online pharmacies. Admittance onto the registry is free and non-cumbersome for drugstores and allows for a thorough vetting process to ensure verification that retailers comply with U.S. health and safety regulations. The simplest way to get on the registry is to be accredited by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. If a drugstore is accredited by the NABP’s Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites program, which already has 30 online pharmacies listed, it will be listed on the registry.

Smart, balanced, and safe legislation like the Online Pharmacy Safety Act is a win for consumers and a win for online commerce. We thank Representatives Cassidy and Ross for their leadership in working to ensure a healthy Internet marketplace populated by legitimate businesses and healthy Internet consumers.

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