Comments on: Let’s not worry about fake online drugs http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/04/23/lets-not-worry-about-fake-online-drugs/ A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: Frank99 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/04/23/lets-not-worry-about-fake-online-drugs/comment-page-1/#comment-40149 Thu, 14 Jun 2012 18:19:21 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=13395#comment-40149 “No one knows; all we know for sure is that Big Pharma’s R&D expenditure is enormous, and is increasingly bad at creating great new drugs.”

It is enormous taken on its own, but it’s less than half the amount Big Pharma spends on administration and marketing. And Pharma really has no desire to create new drugs, just endlessly refining what we already have, hence the amount spent on marketing. Plenty more information here.

http://mdcarroll.com/2009/10/25/explaini ng-research-drug-company-expenditures-pa rt-1/ and http://www.rxgs.com

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By: JayCM http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/04/23/lets-not-worry-about-fake-online-drugs/comment-page-1/#comment-38293 Tue, 24 Apr 2012 17:52:46 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=13395#comment-38293 I’ve been in academic science, and it’s a business like everything else. The local equivalent of “making a sale” is “getting a grant”, the local equivalent of “repeat business” is “getting a grant renewed”.

The pharma industry likes to vary prices by region, according to what the market will bear (not unlike DVD publishers). Online pharmacies arbitrage away those profits. Although Dr. Bate is a scientist, and ideally is all about the impartial generation of knowledge, apparently he’s enough of a realist to give his funders what they want, which is rhetorical ammunition against online pharmacies.

He, thankfully, seems to avoid faking the data. It’s a compromise; people who read his study carefully can see the results (online pharmacies are pretty reliable), but harried politicians get his sponsor’s message (online pharmacies are dangerous).

I used to work at a military lab, and the stuff that went on there would have made a good season of The Wire,

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By: RikkiLee http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/04/23/lets-not-worry-about-fake-online-drugs/comment-page-1/#comment-38259 Tue, 24 Apr 2012 08:56:31 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=13395#comment-38259 America’s Big Pharma pocketed $300 billion last year selling prescription drugs in the U.S. It’s no surprise then that enterprising chemists and pharmacists in some 27 foreign countries now market name-brand and generic drugs at a fraction of U.S. retail pharmacy prices to cash-strapped Americans.

These drugs pass through multiple middlemen to get to U.S. soil, but along the way who checks the chemical ingredients for quality? For example, what protections are in place to insure that the generic drug Quetiapine– sold online by canadadrugs.com, who acquires it in name only from Anam Pharmacy in Singapore, who buys blister packs by the box from Intas Pharmaceutical in Selaqui, Dehradun-248 197 India– is safe to consume?

I would like to believe that these business people are honorable, but let’s be realistic– where is the incentive to protect the consumer? Does Canadian law require canadadrugs.com to guarantee every product that gets shipped from Singapore through Frankfurt to Anytown, USA without ever crossing into Canada? That would be amazing, but because they are technically illegal, the FDA won’t spot test the medications once they arrive in America.

A sane response from the U.S. government is unlikely anytime soon. Too much money is paid to the campaigns of members of Congress by Big Pharma. Spurred on by CEOs who make mega-salaries, investors demand higher dividends even when it’s against their own self-interest for U.S. drug company prices and profits to rise.

We can’t trust the internet, full of fraudulent claims and self-serving editorials. It is nearly impossible to run interference against abusive online companies. When most of the middlemen in online pharmacy world are for-profit companies, who’s protecting the buyer?

Until we have some sort of international treaty, buyer beware.

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By: ShabbirS http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/04/23/lets-not-worry-about-fake-online-drugs/comment-page-1/#comment-38251 Mon, 23 Apr 2012 22:02:14 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=13395#comment-38251 One doesn’t have to look hard for evidence of fake online pharmacies, try checking out the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy’s quarterly report, which surveys many online pharmacies and find only a small percentage that actually have the licensure necessary to dispense drugs to Americans.

We license pharmacists for a good reason, right?

The latest report from Jan 2012 shows that 80% of these outlets surveyed by the NABP don’t even require valid prescriptions. If they can’t get that detail right, why should we assume they’re being careful about sourcing medication from reputable dealers?

http://www.nabp.net/programs/consumer-pr otection/buying-medicine-online/

You can find a number of ways to safely shop for medication online and save money on our website at http://www.safemedicines.org/

Let us know if you’d like more information about our materials.

Shabbir Safdar
Digital outreach, Partnership for Safe Medicines
www.safemedicines.org

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By: realist50 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/04/23/lets-not-worry-about-fake-online-drugs/comment-page-1/#comment-38248 Mon, 23 Apr 2012 19:42:56 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=13395#comment-38248 “And in any case, concentrating on fake drugs is itself dangerous, because it diverts resources from the real problems with US drugs — legitimate drugs where there has been either a flaw in the manufacturing process or which have degraded because they’ve been stored badly or for too much time”

I’ll agree that either of these problems is serious if the problem is widespread. That said, after excoriating Roger Bate for using insufficient or misleading statistics, it’s awfully hypocritical to throw out this statement without citing statistics (or at least linking to a study) indicating that either of these issues is a much bigger problem than counterfeit drugs.

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By: Secretwhistle http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/04/23/lets-not-worry-about-fake-online-drugs/comment-page-1/#comment-38242 Mon, 23 Apr 2012 17:11:44 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=13395#comment-38242 “No one knows; all we know for sure is that Big Pharma’s R&D expenditure is enormous, and is increasingly bad at creating great new drugs.”

It is enormous taken on its own, but it’s less than half the amount Big Pharma spends on administration and marketing. And Pharma really has no desire to create new drugs, just endlessly refining what we already have, hence the amount spent on marketing. Plenty more information here.

http://mdcarroll.com/2009/10/25/explaini ng-research-drug-company-expenditures-pa rt-1/

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By: NicholasWeaver http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/04/23/lets-not-worry-about-fake-online-drugs/comment-page-1/#comment-38238 Mon, 23 Apr 2012 16:32:35 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=13395#comment-38238 Err, the online spam pharma business, not the legit businesses represented by Mr Levitt

And apologies for spaces inserted in the URL

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By: NicholasWeaver http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/04/23/lets-not-worry-about-fake-online-drugs/comment-page-1/#comment-38237 Mon, 23 Apr 2012 16:30:07 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=13395#comment-38237 The online pharma business is very small: ~100M$ a year gross revenue.

https://www.usenix.org/conference/usenix -security-11/show-me-money-characterizin g-spam-advertised-revenue

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By: PharmacyChecker http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/04/23/lets-not-worry-about-fake-online-drugs/comment-page-1/#comment-38235 Mon, 23 Apr 2012 16:05:53 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=13395#comment-38235 Felix –

Thank you for covering this topic, as Americans who can’t afford their medications are relying on the media to bring more attention to the emergency of Americans going without needed medication due to drug prices. On the other hand, you’re being a little hard on Roger Bate. His main point in this article is extremely pro-consumer: The FDA and the pharmaceutical industry should stop scaring Americans away from safe international online pharmacies because it leads to poor health outcomes, and the technical illegality is immoral.

For an AEI scholar, one rarely encounters such a position at odds with the pharmaceutical industry, which would like to see safe international online pharmacies shut down.

Also, there is a counterfeit drug problem that, yes, threatens the United States. True, the problem is miniscule in the U.S. compared to poor countries with weak regulations. But the Internet is also a place where rogue online pharmacies can and do harm consumers, including Americans searching for medication online. We know well because evaluating online pharmacies is our business. That’s why Bate writes it’s important to show Americans how to safely find affordable medication online.

Your point about not limiting the benefits of savings online to some Americans and not others is well taken. It seems here you and Bate just don’t fully agree. Room for debate…

Responding to ManuelL: The source of the study mentioned is published here: http://www.nber.org/papers/w17955. The main finding is that properly verified non-US online pharmacies sell safe medication at much lower prices.

Felix – feel free to contact me anytime.

Gabriel Levitt
Vice President
PharmacyChecker.com

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By: Hatroq http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/04/23/lets-not-worry-about-fake-online-drugs/comment-page-1/#comment-38234 Mon, 23 Apr 2012 16:03:00 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=13395#comment-38234 Funny how this blogger basically accuses Bate of being misleading and picking and choosing facts, but then turns around and does the same to promote his own opinion. Take this sentence: “On the other hand, 100% of the drugs bought in Turkey were legitimate, and Brazil, Russia, and China all performed very well in the test.” If you consider failure rates of 3.12%, 7.5%, and 5.41% to be “performing very well” then I question your judgment. Also, note that Bate is not claiming “Verified” on-line pharmacies are unsafe, rather he (like others) warns consumers to avoid UNVERIFIED websites (often foreign) as a source of discounted medication. This blogger has his head in the sand… No criminal networks involved in illegally counterfeited or diverted pharmaceuticals? Laughable man, laughable.

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