The need for the role of the Canadian International Pharmacy Association (CIPA) as official verifier for online pharmacies selling prescription drugs in Canada is reaffirmed by recent events in the U.S. involving Google and the Department of Justice.
On August 24, 2011, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that Google has agreed to pay $500 million for allowing some questionable pharmacies to advertise the sale of ‘controlled prescription drugs’ prior to 2009. While the Department of Justice action mentions online Canadian pharmacies as the target of their investigation, their announcement does not clearly state the fact that the legitimate, licensed CIPA pharmacies were not their focus.
CIPA members are legitimate, licensed pharmacies that sell brand-name medications for chronic conditions and require that patients have a valid prescription from their doctor. CIPA members do not, nor have they ever, engaged in the sale of illegal, counterfeit, or ‘controlled substances’.
Each year, CIPA members serve over a million Americans, mostly seniors living on fixed incomes who can’t afford their medications at home. Since forming in 2002, CIPA has maintained a 100% perfect safety record.
The online businesses targeted by the Department of Justice investigations are unscrupulous rogues that need to be withdrawn and banned from the internet. CIPA has long supported actions that result in safety for patients in the online world. The term ‘rogue pharmacy’ commonly refers to businesses that sell medications without a prescription or market drugs that don’t meet industry standards of safety and efficacy, which includes illegal counterfeit drugs and medicines. Some rogues even take a patient’s money without providing any service whatsoever. Among the most notorious are operations that masquerade as Canadian yet are fronts for organized crime – they are neither Canadian, nor pharmacies.
In 2010, Bing and Yahoo! named CIPA as the accreditation authority for companies wishing to place online pharmacy advertising in Canada. CIPA is proud to have been chosen to be entrusted to verify the legitimacy of online pharmacies as a front line of defense for patient safety. CIPA also is expanding its listing of rogue sites at www.cipa.com to further protect consumers and help them identify and select reliable, safe pharmacies.
CIPA stands out as the gold standard for distance care pharmacy services due to its strict safety protocols that have been in place since our organization was founded nearly a decade ago. CIPA continues to provide the world’s safest distance care pharmacy services.