December 16, 2011
Alexandria, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS)
announced its support for legislation that would protect consumers from unscrupulous Internet
drug sellers that prey on unsuspecting Americans by posing as legitimate pharmacies while
deceptively selling counterfeit, adulterated or misbranded medicines.
letter to U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Jeff Sessions (R-AL), NACDS endorsed The
Online Pharmacy Safety Act of 2011, which would help prevent rogue online drug sellers from
compromising the existing safeguards that protect Americans.
The bill requires the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to create a public
registry of law-abiding pharmacy websites so that consumers who choose to purchase medicine
online will have confidence in the source of their medication. Additionally, the legislation
would update federal law regarding what constitutes a "valid prescription," clarifying that both
controlled and non-controlled substances require a valid prescription for purchase.
“Consumer health and safety is at risk from these illegitimate online drug sellers.
With flagrant disregard of U.S. laws, these illegal entities sell controlled substances and
other medicines without a prescription, they violate existing requirements for a valid
patient-prescriber relationship and circumvent basic regulations mandating that drugs be
dispensed through a licensed pharmacy,” NACDS stated in its letter.
Research shows that one in six Americans -- more than 36 million consumers -- has purchased
prescription medication online without a valid prescription.
“The problem is exacerbated because these rogue sites purposely masquerade as legitimate
pharmacies, duping innocent Americans into purchasing unsafe or fake medicine. As a result,
Americans’ health is put at risk and the costs to the nation’s healthcare system rise
dramatically,” the letter stated.
“Your legislation will protect Americans against this growing threat by ensuring they
have the resources they need to access safe and legitimate online pharmacies,” NACDS
stated in the letter.