Your 24,349-signature petition had an impact

You might recall us asking you to sign a petition a while back opposing the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) bid to control the .pharmacy domain. Thank you to all who supported this effort. We gathered a total of 24,349 signatures! Lee Graczyk, lead organizer for RxRights, recently traveled to Los Angeles to present those signatures before more than 1500 attendees at the ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) Public Forum.

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The NABP has a history of rejecting all international online pharmacies and labeling them as rogues. Our concern is that if NABP is in charge of .pharmacy, even the legitimate and licensed pharmacies that 5 million Americans depend on each year to access medicine they can afford will be hidden from consumer view.

For some background, ICANN is an international nonprofit whose mandate is to ensure the security and stability of the Internet; it is also in charge of managing the process and rollout of new top-level domains, such as .pharmacy, .health, and .nyc (New York City). On their website, they tout their multi-stakeholder model and inclusive approach to decision-making. To quote their website: “ICANN’s fundamental belief is that all users of the Internet deserve a say in how it is run.” But this ideal doesn’t seem to be playing out in practice.

Over the course of more than a year, RxRights sent several letters to ICANN leadership regarding our concerns about the .pharmacy top-level domain (TLD) and how letting an entity like the NABP control it would have a negative impact on Americans who struggle to afford high-priced U.S. medicine. We promoted our petition signatures. We publicly voiced our opposition using ICANN’s application comment forum. Still, ICANN was largely unresponsive to our communications.

As we’ve been waiting for a reply, NABP has been moving forward swiftly. In June, they put out a press release regarding their status as registry operator for .pharmacy. And they started bulldozing ahead with their plan to limit American access to international online pharmacies.

That’s why we decided that Lee needed to travel to L.A.—to personally deliver your 24,349 signatures along with a message. Lee asked the ICANN board to hold themselves accountable and heed the voices of individual Internet users before making decisions that will negatively affect consumers.

During that same public forum, after Lee delivered the petition, ICANN’s At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) voted unanimously to advise the ICANN board to freeze progress on the 28 highly-sensitive regulated industry sector new TLDs (including .pharmacy) until a working group made up of representatives from ALAC, Government Advisory Committee members, and others from the ICANN stakeholder communities have adequately considered public interest safeguards.

Again, thank you to those who signed the petition. Your support has influenced further significant discussion on this matter and we remain hopeful that these talks will lead to a resolution that we can live with, in every sense of the word. We will keep you posted as we learn more about this issue.

19 Comments On “Your 24,349-signature petition had an impact”

  1. It would be beneficial to remind NAPB that approximately 40% of pharmaceuticals sold in this country are manufactured in foreign countries.

  2. We need to bombard social media with these concerns !

  3. Agreed! Do you follow us? We’re on on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rxrights and Twitter: https://twitter.com/RxRights and we’d love to have you engage with us there and share our content!

  4. Good point, Robert. In fact, we understand that more like 80% of drugs are made elsewhere. http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2014-02-20/safety-prescription-drugs-made-outside-us Definitely we rely on other countries to source the majority of raw ingredients.

  5. I tried going off of a drug just because I couldn’t afford it. The worst part of it was that my health consequences for going off of it were to severe. Now I’m back on it and it is costing my a fortune. I fully support all that RxRights.org is trying to do to keep safe international pharmacies open to americans. Drug companies and Health companies are the two riches institutions in america. They are a necessary evil in my opinion!

  6. Under my doctor’s care,I tried going off of an expensive drug. But my health suffered too much and I had to go back on it. Safe international pharmacies should be legal!!

  7. Thank you for this website. I too have many prescription meds that I order from Canada because I can not afford them in the USA. Tell me what I can do to help and I will step up.

  8. Thanks for commenting Nancy! We’re glad to hear you have found this alternative. Have you signed up for our email list? We periodically send out action alerts and information. Also, please remember to vote tomorrow. Our latest blog post has some more info on which candidates have gotten money from pharma. http://www.rxrights.org/voting-upcoming-election/

  9. Agreed! It’s a matter of public health.

  10. Have you looked into importation Debbie? Or programs to help afford the medication? I’m assuming you have, but in case not, here is a resource: http://www.rxrights.org/help-paying-for-meds/

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