Who is LegitScript

Background
LegitScript considers itself the leading source of information for patients, Internet users, physicians, businesses and other third parties who need to know if an Internet pharmacy is acting in accordance with the law and accepted standards of ethics and safety. LegitScript works in connection with the NABP. They claim their website allows consumers to find the right online pharmacy for them, based on the state where the online pharmacy is authorized to deliver prescription drugs, pharmacy specialty, method of payment, and other factors. LegitScript, founded in May 2007, claims to be fully funded by their employees and their president and founder, John Horton.

Services
LegitScript offers the following services: 1) Internet pharmacy verification; 2) Prescription drug website monitoring; and 3) Internet enforcement

Internet Pharmacy Verification
LegitScript uses the exact same 11-point standards identified in the NABP e-Advertiser Program. On the LegitScript blog they get into more detail regarding point #5 (Validity Prescription) with the following statement:

What about the “online consultation” some Internet pharmacies offer? The online consultation, or medical questionnaire, is a tactic that rogue Internet pharmacies artfully employ to exploit the lack of common understanding of what constitutes a valid prescription. Many rogue Internet pharmacies claim that by answering a few questions about your medical history you may obtain a legitimate prescription prescribed by a “licensed doctor” who will review your questionnaire. In actuality, these questionnaires rarely get more than a one-second glance (if they are read at all), are not cross-checked and are not valid methods of obtaining a prescription. An apt analogy would be someone who knows little about cars filling out an online questionnaire to diagnose their car trouble, ordering a part, and then playing mechanic. It might work in some cases, but is it worth the risk

LegitScript classifies Internet pharmacies into four categories:

  • Legitimate: 341 - These are the number of pharmacy websites that meet LegitScript standards.
  • Unverified: 1,102- These are the number of pharmacy websites that we are aware of, but have not had an opportunity to fully review.
  • Unapproved: 51,303- These are the number of pharmacy websites that LegitScript has reviewed, and determined do not meet our standards. An unapproved pharmacy may or may not also be a “rogue” Internet pharmacy.
  • Rogue: 1) violates, appears to violate, or encourages violation of Federal or state law or regulations; 2) does not adhere to accepted standards of medicine and/or pharmacy practice, including standards of safety; and/or; 3) engages in fraudulent or deceptive business practices.

Prescription Drug Website Monitoring
LegitScript monitors thousands of websites that facilitate the sale of prescription drugs via the Internet.

Internet Enforcement
LegitScript focuses exclusively on the Internet pharmacy industry, investigating and monitoring online pharmacies using their “network” approach. LegitScript claims to find the links between thousands of related websites, allowing them to target hundreds of rogue websites at the same time.
LegitScript targets:

  • Websites selling prescription drugs without a prescription
  • Websites selling prescription drugs without a valid pharmacy license
  • Websites engaged in the fraudulent sale of prescription drug products, or sale of prescription drugs products that are not approved by the FDA, Health Canada or equivalent agency
  • Websites selling counterfeit or adulterated drugs

John Horton – President and Founder (May 2007 – Present)
Office of National Drug Control Policy (March 2002 – May2007) - Associate Deputy Director
John Horton served at the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) as the primary staff person responsible for advising the "Drug Czar". He worked on federal policy for multiple issues, including prescription drug-related issues (including Internet pharmacy policy) and chemical control issues.

It is important to note that Mr. Horton registered the domain “legitscript.com” on March 20, 2007 – almost one month before he left ONDCP.

While Mr. Horton was at the ONDCP the ONDCP released a report to Congress stating the following, “Both Google and Yahoo use a third-party called PharmacyChecker.com (located at www.PharmacyChecker.com) to verify whether websites seeking to advertise an online pharmacy are legitimate. However, PharmacyChecker has approved several websites from Canada that may be operating lawfully in Canada, but offer prescription drugs to United States consumers in violation of Federal law.”

LegitScript and Search Engines
Legitscript states that they are responsible for monitoring the online pharmacy space and notifying Google when a bad ad appears. With this responsibility why, in small light print at the bottom of their pharmacy validation pages, does LegitScript disclaim the content provided in their website?

The information on this website, including information about pharmacy websites, news, data and other information, is based on information from publicly available sources and information obtained by LegitScript, LLC ("LegitScript"). The information available to Internet users without an account performing a search from our homepage is intended solely for the personal use of the website user. LEGITSCRIPT EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, REGARDING THE CONTENT PROVIDED VIA THIS WEBSITE.

LegitScript is not a government agency, law enforcement entity or regulatory authority. LegitScript makes best efforts to ensure that our information about websites is timely and to re-review websites on a periodic basis; however, LegitScript may not be aware of changes made to a website following our review of that website. At the time that LegitScript reviewed the website in question, available information indicated that the website met or did not meet our standards as represented on this website.

LegitScript.com does not provide medical advice nor recommendations regarding the use of any medicine, including prescription drugs. We do not request personal information in any unsolicited email correspondence with our customers. LegitScript shall not be liable for any errors, inaccuracies or delays in content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. Although LegitScript makes reasonable efforts to verify publicly available information and to obtain reliable content from third parties, LegitScript does not guarantee the accuracy of or endorse the information or opinions given by any third party content provider. LegitScript does not endorse or take responsibility for the content of other sites that LegitScript may link to or provide information about.