Last summer the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP Global) launched a campaign to raise awareness of counterfeit drugs from foreign online pharmacies.  This year, they have drafted a letter to the U.S. Congress to encourage them to oppose proposals that allow American consumers to buy Health Canada-approved medication from “legitimate” Canadian online pharmacies. Buying medications from other countries has been an idea proposed to combat the high cost of prescriptions in the United States. Starting in 1999 politicians began filling buses with senior constituents and driving them to Canada, starting with then-Representative Bernie Sanders from Vermont. The seniors would travel with prescriptions written by American doctors; once in Canada, a Canadian doctor would rewrite the prescription and then have it filled at a Canadian

pharmacy at a fraction of the U.S. cost. One woman’s breast cancer drug, which cost $110 for a one-month supply in Maine, could be bought in Canada for only $12. Since the advent of the internet, the process to get prescriptions from across the Canadian border has become seemingly easier but is much more risky. A review of 11,000 websites selling prescription medications to U.S. consumers from 2016 found approximately 96% appear to be in conflict with U.S. law, of which 89% of those didn’t require a valid prescription. With so many illegitimate pharmacies, American consumers have a 65% likelihood of finding an illegal or unsafe site if they search for an online pharmacy. More than putting their health at risk by possibly receiving tainted…