Prescription Justice, a 501c4 non-profit organization, brings together doctors, lawyers, public health advocates, and companies dedicated to lowering drug prices in the United States. We advocate on behalf of the millions of Americans who access affordable imported medications and stand against actions by the pharmaceutical industry that mislead and misinform the public.
Forty-five million Americans did not fill a prescription in 2016 due to cost. Millions often choose between food and medicine in the world’s richest country. Forgoing prescribed medication leads to sickness and death, and even larger healthcare costs from hospitalizations when patients stop taking their medications. Prescription Justice is dedicated to ending this crisis of high drug prices.
Ms. Dart has over thirteen years’ experience in non-profit association management. Most recently, she served as the Associate Executive Director for the Illinois Public Health Association (IPHA), an 8,000-member organization dedicated exclusively to protecting the public’s health. During her tenure, Ms. Dart was instrumental in developing IPHA’s social media platform, and its policy and governance process. She participated in numerous advocacy campaigns including the passage of the 2008 Smoke Free Illinois Act. In 2014, Ms. Dart was appointed as IPHA’s representative to the Illinois Terrorism Task Force (ITTF) which serves as an advisory body to Illinois Government providing recommendations and guidance on homeland security laws, policies, protocol, and procedures.
Ms. Dart has always had a passion for working to promote health and well-being for underserved populations. She began her career as a Health Educator for the Sangamon County Department of Public Health, where she worked to promote healthy behaviors and to prevent disease and illness through tailored community education and awareness programs. From there, Ms. Dart developed experience in grassroots advocacy and coalition building as a community organizer with the Illinois Coalition Against Tobacco (ICAT). While at ICAT, she worked with several health advocates to reduce tobacco use, especially among youth. Ms. Dart also managed the Washington, DC office of the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability (ANA), a network of local, regional, and national organizations representing the concerns of communities in the shadows of US nuclear weapons and radioactive waste dumps. During her tenure at ANA, she educated Members of Congress and Federal agency leaders on nuclear nonproliferation, nuclear waste, and reprocessing issues. She also worked against the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository and the formation of the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership in the United States. Ms. Dart received her Master of Public Administration and Bachelor of Health Services Administration degrees from the University of Illinois. She resides in Springfield, Illinois with her husband Tom and daughter Gabriella.
A retired psychiatrist who resides near Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Dr. Barrett has achieved national renown as an author, editor, and consumer advocate. In addition to heading Quackwatch, he is a Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. In 1984, he received an FDA Commissioner’s Special Citation Award for Public Service in fighting nutrition quackery. In 1986, he was awarded honorary membership in the American Dietetic Association. From 1987 through 1989, he taught health education at The Pennsylvania State University. He is listed in Marquis Who’s Who in America and received the 2001 Distinguished Service to Health Education Award from the American Association for Health Education.
Lindsay Brown is a software developer and project manager who ran for the US House of Representatives in the 2018 Republican primary in New Jersey’s 7th district. Lindsay attended Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY for her bachelors in Psychology. She built her career from part-time administrative roles and climbed the ranks to lead digital projects and software development efforts at Townsquare Media, the New York Post, and experiential media agency Impact XM. Lindsay is a full-stack web developer with strong familiarity of the MERN stack, SQL databases, and AWS architecture.In partnership with Severna Labs, Lindsay developed a sales tool aimed at FDA Outsourcing Facilities (503B) to aid in more efficient R&D decisions to get drugs on shortage back on the market through alternative sources. Politically, Lindsay is passionate about rebuilding the Republican party to reflect its historical values of diversity and inclusion, individual responsibility to uphold the public good, and civil liberties by championing causes that are important to all Americans, such as prescription drug policy reform, and electing new and diverse voices to positions of authority.
Dr. Tod Cooperman is a noted researcher, writer, and speaker on consumer healthcare issues. Dr. Cooperman is a graduate of the Boston University School of Medicine and received his Bachelor’s degree from Boston University with a major in Medical Sciences and a minor in Economics. Founded in 1999, ConsumerLab.com is the leading independent evaluator of dietary supplements (vitamin, mineral, herbal, and non-herbal) and nutrition products. In 2002, Dr. Cooperman started PharmacyChecker.com when he saw that increasing numbers of Americans were looking on the Internet to save money on prescription medication but did not have adequate information to protect their health. Dr. Cooperman also founded CareData Reports, Inc., an evaluator of consumer satisfaction with managed care (now a division of J.D. Power and Associates). Dr. Cooperman is also a blogger for the Huffington Post.
Douglas Grover joined Schlam and Stone as a partner in 2014. Since leaving the Justice Department in 1990, he has focused on white-collar criminal matters and related civil litigation. He has represented and tried cases for businesses and individuals, including politicians, corporate officers, attorneys, doctors, accountants, securities analysts and traders, investment bankers, and government agents in all types of matters including campaign finance violations, government corruption (including bribery and foreign corrupt practices), environmental crimes, tax crimes, antitrust crimes, securities violations, insider trading, and all forms of fraud, including securities fraud, mail and telemarketing fraud, government procurement fraud, bank fraud, insurance fraud, and false statements to government officials and investigators. Click here for more on Mr. Grover’s experience.
In 2011, Mr. Graczyk founded RxRights, a national coalition of individuals and organizations dedicated to raising awareness and spurring action around safe prescription drug importation. The Coalition seeks to inform and educate both the public and our elected officials on the complex issues surrounding prescription drug sales in the U.S. Lee was driven at first by the fundamental unfairness of U.S. drug pricing. In more recent years, Lee gained a more personal connection with this issue when his own health issues necessitated exorbitantly priced prescription drugs. Lee has a background in compliance and state government. For a number of years, he served as public policy director for the Minnesota Senior Federation. There he organized monthly bus trips to Canada to ensure that seniors could obtain prescription drugs at an affordable price. In 2004, Lee helped to establish a prescription drug importation program for the Minnesota Senior Federation. The program is now maintained by Mature Voices Minnesota, a nonprofit organization led by Lee that works for seniors’ rights. The successful program currently has 2,200 members who can order safe and affordable prescription drugs from Canada at savings of 20-80 percent.
Gabe is a co-founder of PharmacyChecker.com, which evaluates online pharmacies, compares prescription drug prices, and helps Americans find the lowest cost medication at local pharmacies. He is also a public advocate for prescription drug affordability in America, Internet freedom, and the United Nations. He has testified before Congress on issues relating to access to affordable medicines and Internet freedom, published an op-ed in the New York Times about online pharmacies and personal drug importation, and is the proud author of a chapter in an anthology calling Hacking Politics about defeating the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). Gabe is president emeritus of the United Nations Association Brooklyn Chapter and sits on the Brooklyn County Democratic Committee. He is the recipient of the United Nations Association Molly Bruce Advocacy Award. He received his Masters in International Relations from American University and a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Political Science from Roger Williams University.
Richard Master is the Founder and CEO of MCS Industries Inc., North America’s leading supplier of picture frames and decorative mirrors. He is the Executive Producer of two documentaries “Fix It: Healthcare at the Tipping Point” and “Big Pharma: Market Failure”. Richard’s interest in healthcare is triggered by the annual, relentless cost increases his company and its employees have experienced since 2000. Initial research and investigation led to the formation of the “Unfinished Business Foundation” which led to the productions. Richard has an active interest in public policy with particular focus on finding practical, common sense solutions to problems that many characterize as too complex to tackle. Early in his career, he served as a trial lawyer, Civil Rights Division, US Department of Justice. He is a graduate of the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University, School of Law.
What We Do
Prescription Justice empowers consumers to defend their personally imported prescription drug orders if the FDA refuses to allow their imports of lawfully manufactured, prescribed medication. If the FDA refuses a consumers’ imported medication to enter the country, the FDA must send them a letter explaining why and offer the opportunity to defend the prescription drug order before destroying it. Prescription Justice provides consumers with guidance to help them submit testimony letters to the FDA to get their medication shipments.
Prescription Justice advocates for regulatory and legislative reforms and common sense policies to lower domestic drug prices and expand access to lower cost medication from pharmacies in other countries.
Enforcement Actions Targeting Prescription Drugs For Personal Import Should be Limited to Unsafe or Counterfeit Medications
Despite federal restrictions, five million Americans import medication for personal use each year because the cost of medication in the U.S. is too high. Section 708 of the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act of 2012 expanded FDA’s authority to destroy personally imported medications confiscated at international mail facilities.
FDA should not use its authority to deprive patients of access to prescribed, safe and effective medications. Millions of Americans buy lower cost medication online from pharmacies in other countries. The safest international online pharmacy options should not be the target of enforcement actions, as they offer a lifeline of affordable medication.
FDA should focus enforcement actions only against rogue online pharmacies, i.e., those which do not require a prescription and do not fill orders through licensed pharmacies that are dispensed by licensed pharmacists.
Medicare Should be Permitted to Negotiate Drug Prices
Using their bargaining power to get the best drug prices for their citizens, governments in all other advanced economies set or negotiate drug prices. The Centers for Medicaid & Medicare should be allowed to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies to bring down taxpayer and consumer costs for Medicare enrollees.
To achieve this goal, prohibitions against such negotiations put in place under the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA) must be lifted. Medicare’s Part D, a product of the MMA, was helpful in bringing drug price relief to millions of seniors, but millions are still not taking medications due to cost.
Letting Medicare negotiate will enable seniors to get the “bargaining” they need to afford medications.
“Pay-to-Delay” Should be Ended
Drug companies should be prevented from conspiring to prevent lower cost generics from coming to market. “Pay to delay” deals involve payment by a brand-name company to a generic drug company to delay marketing a generic version that has obtained FDA approval to market in the United States. The Federal Trade Commission estimates that taxpayer drug costs were $3.5 billion higher in 2014 because of such deals. Pay to delay deals should be banned.
Importation of Lower-Cost, Safe and Effective Drugs Should be Permitted
People often talk about whether or not to “legalize” drug importation. That’s not the right word. Drug importation is already legal in the U.S. According to the FDA, 40% percent of prescription drugs we purchase in U.S. pharmacies are imported and 80% of their active pharmaceutical ingredients, the main ingredients found in drugs, are imported. The importers are usually drug manufacturers and wholesaler distributors.
However, individual consumers in the U.S. don’t have the same right to import their medication from a pharmacy in Canada or another country, which impedes their access to affordable medication. On average, among the richest countries, medications outside the U.S. cost 50% less but the price discrepancies go as high as 99%!
Pharmacies in the U.S. are not allowed to import lower-cost, FDA-approved pharmaceuticals from wholesaler in Canada or other countries. Allowing them to do so would mean lower prices at U.S. pharmacies.
We need laws that protect our drug supply, not import restrictions that profit pharmaceutical companies at the expense of American consumers. Laws and regulations should be reformed to remove unnecessary import restrictions on lower-cost pharmaceuticals, better ensure product safety and protect against counterfeit drugs.
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