RxRights a national advocacy group working to protect access to affordable medication has launched a petition to oppose the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy’s (NABP) bid to control .pharmacy—a new industry-specific Internet domain.
“A U.S.-based organization with such close ties to the pharmaceutical industry should not be allowed to dictate who gets to participate in this global portal to safe online medicine” said Lee Graczyk RxRights lead organizer.
Internet users are familiar with a handful of generic Internet domains including .com .net and .org. By year’s end a host of new domains will be launched. Their ownership and control is currently up for discussion. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is the global group in charge of reviewing and approving new domains.
NABP’s application to ICANN for ownership of the .pharmacy domain is a move that advocacy groups like RxRights contend will jeopardize personal drug importation from safe Canadian and other international online pharmacies.
“The NABP has long been a critic of drug importation and has a history of lumping fake pharmacies that sell counterfeit drugs together with safe licensed international pharmacies” said Graczyk. “Given this history and their financial stake in preventing importation we believe their intention is to exclude legitimate licensed Canadian and other international pharmacies from the .pharmacy domain. We believe this tactic will harm Americans in need of affordable medicine which is why we are launching this petition that urges the ICANN board to reject NABP’s application.”
The problem of drug affordability in the U.S. is considerable. The Commonwealth Fund recently reported that 50 million Americans skipped filling a prescription because of high U.S. costs in 2012. It is estimated that nearly 5 million Americans each year import their prescription drugs from international pharmacies primarily because they need to find cheaper prices.
Public interest groups such as Public Citizen and Demand Progress also have spoken out against NABP’s application. Critics have pointed out that the NABP application for the .pharmacy domain was paid by a number of big pharmaceutical companies.
RxRights is a national coalition of individuals and organizations concerned with the high cost of prescription drugs in the U.S. For more information visit www.RxRights.org.
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