ONLINE PHARMACIES: Experts Debate Regulation Options
The FDA and the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy agreed Thursday that illegal drug stores are proliferating on the Internet, but disagreed about whether a Clinton administration plan to establish new regulations for online pharmacies was necessary, CongressDaily/A.M. reports. At a Capitol Hill briefing on health challenges posed by online pharmacies, Jon May of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy said he felt that states were "up to the task of cracking down on domestic drug stores," and that a Clinton proposal introduced earlier this year was unnecessary. Tom McGinnis of the FDA's Office of Policy disagreed and said that legislation was necessary "to force all Internet pharmacies to post information about their licensing and compliance with federal and state laws." A National Association of Boards of Pharmacy survey of 2,300 pharmacy-related Web sites found that 35% of the sites were illegal, compared to 7% that were legal and 18% that were international. The remaining sites were informational only (6/16).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.