WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-5) joined colleagues Bill Cassidy (LA-6) and Mike Rose (AR-4) on Wednesday, Feb. 29, in introducing the Online Pharmacy Safety Act (H.R. 4095).

While much progress has been made to eliminate rogue Internet pharmacies since the enactment of the landmark Ryan Haight Act in 2008, H.R. 4095 takes additional steps to prevent illegal websites from selling dangerous drugs to unprescribed consumers by establishing a comprehensive “white list” of valid pharmacies.

“Prescription drug abuse has been one of the greatest calamities in my region, ruining lives and affecting Kentuckians young and old,” said Rogers. “While we have come a long way since delivery trucks were being robbed on the highway for their pill cargo, more must be done. The Online Pharmacy Safety Act is another step in the right direction.”

“Creating a registry of legitimate online pharmacies will provide consumers with certainty that they’re obtaining a valid prescription, but perhaps more importantly, this ‘white list’ will help internet payment companies distinguish between honest brokers and drug dealers,” Rogers continued. “That way, we can hit these rogue online pharmacies where it hurts – in their wallets – and shut them down for good.”

Specifically, H.R. 4095 requires FDA to develop a comprehensive “white list” of legitimate online pharmacies. This list will be available to consumers, but perhaps more importantly, to online payment processing companies.

The legislation creates a “safe harbor” so that these financial middlemen cannot be penalized for refusing to process payments to rogue online pharmacies not registered on the “white list.” Other services, like search advertising and website hosting, would also be discouraged. H.R. 4095 was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce for further consideration.

As part of his efforts to fight this growing epidemic, Rogers joined with Representatives Mary Bono Mack (CA-45) and Stephen Lynch in forming the bi-partisan Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug Abuse, which aims to raise awareness of abuse and to work toward innovative and effective policy solutions, incorporating treatment, prevention, law enforcement and research.

Due in large part to his leadership on the issue, Rogers will give the keynote address at the National Rx Drug Abuse Summit on April 11, 2012.

Rogers has served Kentucky’s 5th Congressional District since 1981. With a focus on economic development, job creation, fighting illegal drugs and preserving Appalachia’s natural treasures, he has a reputation for listening to his constituents and fighting for the region he represents.

For more information visit www.halrogers.house.gov.