NABP Expresses Concern to Congress on Potential Legislation That Would Allow Dispensing of Non-FDA-Approved Medications to US Patients From Online Pharmacies

February 16, 2017

In keeping with its ongoing mission to protect public health, NABP sent a letter to Congress expressing concern on any intentions to propose federal legislation that would allow the dispensing of non-Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved medicines to United States patients from online pharmacies, including those from Canada.

In the letter, NABP notes that amending the US Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to allow US consumers to buy Health Canada-approved medicines from “legitimate” Canadian online pharmacies could have grave consequences. NABP stressed how difficult it is for consumers to determine legitimate online sources for medication because there are over 35,000 websites selling medication and the majority are operating illegally. In many instances, these illegally operating sites are foreign drug sellers disguised as Canadian online pharmacies that are dispensing medications approved by neither FDA nor Health Canada. The letter also highlighted NABP’s research on internet drug outlets and the Association’s findings that 96% of the more than 11,000 websites reviewed by the Association are operating illegally, out of compliance with state and federal laws and/or NABP patient safety and pharmacy practice standards. The likelihood of US patients receiving unapproved, substandard, and counterfeit drugs from unknown foreign sources is significant, posing a serious risk to patient safety.

Additionally, Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP) Global and Partnership for Safe Medicines are sending letters to Congress expressing their concern about the proposed federal legislation.