Who is the PROTECT IP Act Protecting?posted Tue, 24 May 2011
Senator Patrick Leahy has just introduced a new Internet censorship bill that could cut off Americans’ right to access to safe and affordable medications from international online pharmacies.
The White House caused us great concern last year when they supported Leahy’s previous version of the bill (COICA). But this new version—called the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act (PROTECT IP Act) is even more troublesome than COICA.
PROTECT IP will do much more than prevent illegal movie downloads or sales of knockoff handbags.
Unlike its predecessor, PROTECT IP contains specific language that targets all non-U.S. based online pharmacies—classifying them as a risk to public health.
In addition, the law would require that Internet service providers and search engines block international pharmacy websites and that credit card companies freeze their payments. Even worse, Canadian and international pharmacies would be prohibited from defending themselves against those who shut them down.
As we’ve reported before, pharmacies in Canada and other industrialized countries have excellent systems for regulating pharmaceuticals—comparable to our FDA. Some systems are arguably safer than our own.
But with Canadian and international pharmacies out of the way, big pharmaceutical companies can continue to charge exorbitant prices for brand name medicines. They will do it just because they can.
Over a million Americans currently import their drugs from Canada and other international pharmacies. The do it because they can’t afford the price of drugs at home. The PROTECT IP Act won’t protect these people. It will directly—and possibly irreparably—jeopardize their health.
Find out more about PROTECT IP: