CLEAR News - Summer 2003
Joining Forces Against Importation of Prescription Drugs
In response to
the dangers of the illegal importation of prescription drugs from Canada to the
US, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy in the US and the National
Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities in Canada have recently issued a
joint position statement/communiqu� pledging to work together on this issue.
NABP and NAPRA are responsible for regulating the practice of pharmacists
and ensuring public safety in their respective jurisdictions.
many health officials, public safety is jeopardized when consumers purchase
prescription medications from countries other than where the patient lives.
Many US patients, especially those on a fixed income, are turning to
Canadian pharmacies because the drugs can be purchased more cheaply and the
currency exchange rate is favorable. But,
at what potential health cost? Officials
with the US Food and Drug Administration, both the American and Canadian
Pharmacists Associations, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, and
many other pharmacy associations and schools warn about the health risks
associated with imported prescription drugs. Since they�re not subject to US regulation or FDA approval
processes, these foreign and online pharmacies could dispense improper dosages,
contaminated drugs, or even incorrect medications, especially since foreign
name-brand drugs and dosage forms may not be equivalent to their US
counterparts. Another concern is
that importation severs the pharmacist-patient relationship, compromising the
safety and effectiveness of medication management.
statement, NABP and NAPRA agree that �the international movement of
prescription drugs between Canada and the United States undermines the
regulatory systems established in each country to protect consumers.�
Barbara Wells, Executive Director of NAPRA, and Carmen Catizone,
Executive Director/Secretary of NABP, signed the agreement pledging to work
together to protect the citizens in their respective jurisdictions and to
promote compliance with federal, state, and provincial laws.
Catizone stated that �it is imperative that we work closely with NAPRA
and their provincial and territorial members to tackle the challenges pharmacy
regulators face on both sides of the border and protect public safety.� Wells added, �This joint resolution signals our commitments
to work together to support the ability and effectiveness of our member
organizations in protecting the citizens each are mandated to serve.�
NABP/NAPRA Press Release