ARLINGTON, Va.— NACDS today hailed the introduction of the INFORM Consumers Act (S. 936), legislation introduced on Tuesday, March 23, by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Chris Coons (D-DE) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) which increases transparency and accountability for e-commerce marketplaces and protects consumers from illicit online products and fraud.
The new bill is a major step forward in combating organized retail crime networks and promoting consumer health and safety.
Of note, the INFORM Consumers Act would modernize consumer protection laws and require online marketplaces to provide basic business information and contact details on third-party sellers, in addition to requiring high-volume sellers to provide contact information to consumers.
During the virtual 2021 NACDS RxIMPACT Day on Capitol Hill event on March 3-4, NACDS leadership and pharmacy advocates called on Congress to keep customers and retailers safe by cracking down on organized retail crime and passing the INFORM Consumers Act. The issue remained a primary focus throughout the advocacy event – in addition to the urging of other key pro-patient, pro-pharmacy priorities such as direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) fee reform.
Additionally, the week following NACDS’ virtual fly-in event, Morning Consult published an opinion piece by NACDS President and CEO Steven C. Anderson entitled “How Congress Can Make Consumer Safety a Top Priority in 2021” and urging the introduction of the INFORM Consumers Act.
“Communities nationwide are thankful for everything that NACDS chain and supplier members’ teams have done for the ultimate good of the American consumer. And as our nation continues to accelerate efficient and equitable COVID-19 vaccinations as vaccine supply becomes more available, so do pharmacies. But we call on Congress to keep customers safe from organized retail crime, an increasing threat to their health and safety. The stakes are just too high,” Anderson urged in the piece.
“We applaud Senators Durbin (D-IL), Cassidy (R-LA), Hirono (D-HI), Grassley (R-IA), Coons (D-DE) and Tillis (R-NC) for their sponsorship of this new legislation which will bring more accountability and transparency to digital marketplaces, protect products and – most importantly – safeguard and inform those consumers who are shopping online,” said Anderson. “Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, community pharmacies – a trusted source of advice and essential products for so many Americans – have increasingly become targets for criminal organizations to steal in-demand products and sell fraudulent goods to unsuspecting customers.
“The introduction of the INFORM Consumers Act is a critical and positive development in our efforts to combat organized retail crime, and we thank these Congressional leaders for their important roles in advancing the bill and in ultimately protecting the American consumer.”