US verification program for Internet pharmacies
2 June 2008
LegitScript LLC has launched an Internet pharmacy verification and information service. The service, which is free to consumers and pharmacies in the US, includes a search engine that allows users to determine whether an online pharmacy meets standards of quality and safe business practices.
Its aim is to help United States residents ensure that pharmaceuticals purchased online are authentic and distributed in accordance with relevant laws and safety regulations.
The company says that the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy which represents all State Boards of Pharmacy in the United States, recognizes LegitScript's Internet pharmacy verification standards.
LegitScript.com's search engine currently contains some information about 500 Internet pharmacies. Of those, 325 are identified as not meeting LegitScript Internet pharmacy verification standards, fifteen are approved, and the rest are under review.
"Rogue online pharmacies are a major source of illicit prescription drugs, but there are also numerous online pharmacies that are legal and safe," said John Horton, LegitScript founder and President. "Our goal is to help Americans tell the difference."
Calvina Fay, Executive Director of the Drug Free America Foundation said, "Prescription drug abuse is a serious and emerging drug threat, especially to our nation's youth. Internet pharmacy verification is an important step in making the Internet a safer environment for our children."
Horton said that online pharmacy verification is free for pharmacies that comply with the company's standards. "We will not approve online pharmacies that hire doctors to write prescriptions without ever meeting the patient face-to-face — a disturbing and potentially dangerous practice," said Horton. Canadian, other foreign, and "no-prescription-required" Internet pharmacies are likewise ineligible.
Horton urged consumers to use LegitScript's interactive feature for reporting 'rogue' online pharmacies that target children, engage in fraud or send out spam email.
Later this year, the website will add a prescription drug price comparison tool, and information about insurance and health plans accepted by approved Internet pharmacies.
According to US government statistics, prescription drug abuse is now the nation's second-most serious drug problem, ahead of cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine, and behind only marijuana in the sheer number of abusers.
The service is available at: www.legitscript.com/