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LegitScript to Rx sellers: Stick with FDA-approved

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PORTLAND, Ore. — Internet pharmacy verifier LegitScript has sent a letter to leading pharmacy retailers and pharmaceutical distributors to stress the importance of only supplying prescription drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

LegitScript president John Horton sent the letter to the chief executive officers of Walgreens, CVS Caremark, Rite Aid, Walmart, Kroger, McKesson, Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen, as well as to the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation Research.

"Pharmacies and pharmaceutical distributors play an important role in providing life-improving products to the public. As such, it is vital to supply only the drugs that have been subjected to the rigorous FDA approval process," Horton stated in the letter. 

He wrote that LegitScript is "reaching out to all those in the drug [supply] chain to inform them of their ethical, legal responsibility toward patients" and to "invite them to join our effort to educate the public about the dangers of unapproved drugs."

"The ultimate goal of the campaign," Horton noted, "is to raise awareness of the dangers posed by unapproved drugs and to get patients to understand that there is no need to subject themselves to unnecessary risks when an approved drug is available."

According to LegitScript, the use of unapproved drugs can be dangerous to patients because they lack the dosage, regimen and drug-to-drug interaction analysis necessary to be deemed safe by the FDA for public use. The agency’s Unapproved Drugs Initiative, announced in 2006, calls for the removal of unapproved drugs from the U.S. marketplace, LegitScript noted.

Based in Portland, Ore., LegitScript monitors thousands of web sites that facilitate the sale of prescription drugs via the Internet and checks the legitimacy of those pharmacy sites against a database to verify if they are acting in accordance with the law and accepted standards of ethics and safety.

LegitScript said it’s identified by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy as the only Internet pharmacy verification service — other than the NABP’s Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS) program — that adheres to NABP standards.


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