ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores has submitted a letter to the Food and Drug Administration expressing its concern that rogue Internet pharmacies are engaging in a pattern of illegal activity.
“These illegal, rogue Internet sites take advantage of consumers by luring them into illegal schemes to obtain prescription drugs, often controlled substances, without a prescription or valid patient/prescriber relationship,” comments Kevin Nicholson, NACDS’ vice president and pharmacy adviser on government affairs and public policy, in the association’s letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg.
“We are deeply concerned about rogue Internet sites — both domestic and foreign,” states the letter, which lauds the FDA for its recent efforts to crack down on rogue Internet operators.
“They are in violation of state and federal laws governing the legitimate prescribing and dispensing of prescription drugs,” Nicholson says. “These Internet sites are not pharmacies.”
Nicholson emphasizes that NACDS members operate legitimate licensed pharmacies, and that many also operate branded Internet sites to provide additional value and convenience.
“It is critical that policy makers continue to make the appropriate distinction between such legitimate sites and rogue Internet operators such as those the FDA has targeted through this enforcement action,” Nicholson says, adding that NACDS has been working with state and federal legislators and others to address this issue.