Press Releases and Other Verified Online Pharmacies Safe According to Study Published by the National Bureau of Economic Research

National Bureau of Economic Research and other International Online Pharmacies Offer American Patients Access to Affordable Medications Often Discounted by up to 70%. Yet, Debate Continues about the Safety of these Pharmacies. Now, a Study Published by the National Bureau of Economic Research Shows that Drugs Purchased at International Sites Recognized by the Canadian International Pharmacy Association were Safe and Identical to Products Sold Domestically.

The debate about the safety of online pharmacies such as has continued for years in the United States. Amid proposed legislation that could ultimately ban foreign online pharmacies and continued efforts by major pharmaceutical companies to lobby against these sites, the National Bureau of Economic Research has published a study that suggests verified international online pharmacies are as safe as and more affordable than their U.S. based counterparts.

According to a 2003 article in the Washington Post, U.S. “customs estimates 10 million US citizens bring in medications at land borders each year” and “an additional 2 million packages of pharmaceuticals arrive annually by international mail.” For more than a decade the popularity of international and Canadian pharmacies for American patients looking to cut prescription costs has been undisputed. Not surprisingly, the growing popularity of mail order and online pharmacies has been cause for concern for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because of the potential for illegal and possibly unsafe medications. In fact, at the FDA website, they recommend that prescriptions are purchased “only from licensed pharmacies located in the United States.” So are international online pharmacies safe?

Recent attempts by the U.S. government to curb online pharmacy sales through proposed legislation like the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) certainly suggest these medication sources are dangerous.

National Bureau of Economic Research

"Study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research indicates that verified online pharmacies are much safer than generally given credit."

Yet despite these efforts, a study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research indicates that verified online pharmacies are much safer than generally given credit. The goal of the study was to “assess the safety and price differences across verified and non-verified websites.” The FDA recommends customers “purchase drugs from websites that…have been accredited by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP),” which only verifies U.S. based sites. However, in this study, the authors included in their list of “verified websites” those foreign online pharmacies recognized by the Canadian International Pharmacy Association (CIPA) .

The results of this study shed an interesting light on the safety of and all online pharmacies accredited by the CIPA or Indeed, the researchers found that “no failure of authenticity is found in drugs that came from verified websites” regardless of whether those drugs came from CIPA recognized sources or NABP verified sites. More importantly, the study revealed that the FDA is correct in warning about rogue websites but “that a blanket warning against any foreign website may deny customers substantial price savings from verified websites.” In fact, the study found that U.S. based online pharmacies charged an average of 52% more than international online pharmacies for the same products.

In an online statement, Tim Smith, CIPA’s president and general manager revealed that “CIPA is delighted with these findings. The perfect safety record our licensed pharmacies have maintained during the decade since the association was formed in 2002 stands as proof of our excellent safety standards.” In addition, the marketing manager at hopes “such impressive findings from the scientific community will not only comfort American patients searching for affordable medications, but will encourage the FDA to reconsider their stance on foreign online pharmacies. As is verified by both the CIPA, we are recognized internationally as a reputable source for safe and affordable drugs.”