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September 6th, 2007, 07:47 AM #1Pharmacy Merchant, need help..
Last time I went through this forum to ask for help, I got really quick replies from LinkShare and Performics (I think). I'm trying my luck again. This time, I'm setting up an affiliate program for an online pharmacy. We sell both over-the-counter and ion drugs. Need to know which programs work best for this. Was hoping to go through CJ, but the sales rep told me they can't do it. LinkShare says no ion meds (but I emailed our URL anyway).
Anyone else know other networks out there? I already emailed SaS and Performics...still waiting for a reply. Just to make things clear, I'm asking from the merchant point of view. (So I'm not really looking for good pharmacy affiliate programs, but if you've got good tips for setting up one, I would love to learn from you).
Also, if you represent any of the affiliate networks, please let me know what kind of documentation you require? Pharmacy licenses, etc. Please send me an email through the address on my profile
September 6th, 2007, 08:12 AM #2Originally Posted by violetdolor
Originally Posted by violetdolor
Best of luck in your research, vd.
Geno Prussakov AM Navigator LLC Twitter.com/ePrussakov We Manage: These affiliate programs My Services: Affiliate program management, audit, consulting, speaking
September 6th, 2007, 08:20 AM #3
- Join Date
- January 18th, 2005
September 25th, 2007, 10:38 AM #4
Thanks for the advice Geno. Tried them all..unfortunately, none of them want to work with pharmacy merchants.
New question..anyone from the pharmacy industry try clixgalore? They look like they can work with us. I've read through some threads. Got mixed signals from affiliates, but they seem to work well for merchants. I've emailed them 2x via their contact us page to see if they can work with pharmacy merchants..no reply yet.
September 25th, 2007, 11:17 AM #5
- Join Date
- January 18th, 2005
Stay away from the CPA networks. You will need strick policies in place, as Merchant Consultant Team is alluding too. If CJ and LS already said no, you may have licensing issues that will keep you out of *any* network and affiliates will want to stay away also. It sounds like there is too much liability, you may need to rethink your business model. Affiliate marketing may not be the right thing for you.Deborah Carney
TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com
September 25th, 2007, 12:27 PM #6
If you do not have the appropriate FDA licenses then you will have no chance in the US. If you do not have the appropriate licenses in accordance with recent EU directives then you can't trade in Europe.
If you have the licenses then most networks will say yes. If your products are copies then you will have a seriously hard time getting approved.
Basically any product must be certified and subject to testing for which you have the appropriate certification. If you are retailing and buying the products in then your supplier must have the certification for the product testing.
Any pres cription medication must have the customer completing a medical questionnaire. eu-rx is a typical example on ClixGalore which sells to the US and the EU where all products are licensed and all customers complete a medical declaration before their order is accepted.
September 27th, 2007, 12:42 AM #7
Thanks for the great advice everyone! I believe our legal department has us covered (well they better...I've spent a lot of time trying to set this up).
We are based in the EU, so we already have all the necessary licenses. We are currently working on our licensing for the US markets (some states have tougher policies than others).
As for ion meds, we also have pharmacists and doctors on staff to take care of the questionnaire portion.
The thing is, the bigger networks say outright no when they know we're a pharmacy merchant. Talked to reps from Performics and CJ and that's what I got. LinkShare is still considering it (since they already have one pharmacy merchant in there) but it's been a while.
I think at this point the best route for us to take is to work with several non-exclusive networks. I was even thinking of using a customized tracking system to run the program...but the scalability of that is pretty limited. Plus it might be more costly if we have to cut the check ourselves and send it out to individual affiliates. Hmmmm...I do appreciate the suggestions. You guys rock!
September 27th, 2007, 02:47 AM #8
It's not necessary to go non exclusive with networks for your project. Actually can cause more problems than it's worth. Particulary if you wish to avoid Partner Spamming.
I am being plied with alcohol later today over a different project (love networks) so feel free to contact me at your leisure as you are looking at EU and US operation. I can think of a few that may be interested.
Your legal people will need to catch up with the new raft of legislation going through at present.
September 27th, 2007, 04:54 PM #9
Tell me you're not planning to touch any class 4s...
I doubt you'll find any US-based networks who will take an rx program. Just too risky.
Recent indictments INCLUDING US-based affiliates makes rx a scary industry for anyone with ties to the states. I wouldn't touch it with a 47.5' pole.
September 27th, 2007, 10:15 PM #10
By your initial couple posts here, I am going to assume that you are new to the pharmacy arena and as such perhaps unaware of some important issues in online pharmacy. Without any condescension whatsoever intended - a few comments...
Information is the key to better understanding. Though certainly there are many online pharmacies that do not comply with law, there are a small number of online prescribing pharmacies that operate legally in the U.S. You cannot intelligently / accurately paint all online pharmacies with the same brush, anymore than you can paint all Raiders fans with the same brush!
(sorry Raiders fans, but I'm a Broncos guy!!)
The problem arises as a result of association. Due to the illegal prescribing practices and other questionable activities of so many rogue and offshore operations over the years, many people categorically conclude that ALL online pharmacies are illegal.
You have to understand the laws clearly, as well as understanding the controlled substance act and how it affects online prescribing procedures, which is a complex matter best handled by attorneys. With a proper understanding of the law, it is not difficult to distinguish between legally and illegally operated online pharmacies. There are a limited number of medications that do not fall under the purview of the controlled substance act pertinent to prescribing procedures. These treatments may be legally prescribed through an online physician consultation with a U.S. licensed physician. For instance, medications such as the big three ED meds, Xenical (weight loss), select STD treatments, Propecia, Chantix and a few others (about 37 in total) can be legally prescribed through an online consultation by a licensed U.S. physician.
In the case of the pharmacy program you reference, I could not comment on whether it is legal as I do not know what medications the site offers, where their medications are manufactured, whether they are FDA approved, or any number of other factors. However, I can say that there are only a handful of online prescribing pharmacies that limit their offerings to the treatments that are allowed to be prescribed through online consultation. Either way, to the best of my knowledge, I am not aware of any offshore online prescribing pharmacy (selling medications that are manufactured outside the U.S.) that are in compliance with U.S. laws.
For instance, as a single example, brand name - FDA approved, U.S. manufactured Viagra, Levitra and Cialis can be legally prescribed through an appropriate online physician consultation procedure. This has been confirmed by a number of states and the DEA on various occasions. However, if the site you refer to offers, or represents that it provides any form of "generic", soft tab or gel tab Viagra, Levitra or Cialis, it is not a legal pharmacy under U.S. law and it also infringes on the patents of the brand manufacturers. There is NO such thing as "generic" Viagra, Levitra, or Cialis, and all such sales of so called generics of these brand names are illegal, patent violations, not FDA approved, manufactured offshore, and as such not legal to purchase or sell in the U.S.
Additionally, if the pharmacy you reference is outside the U.S., it is illegal for a U.S. resident to order medications from a pharmacy not located within the U.S. and it is illegal for offshore pharmacies to sell or ship medications to U.S. residents.
There are many other variables and requirements that apply, so if your intention is to operate within the law you would be well advised to proceed with caution and prudence.
September 28th, 2007, 01:43 AM #11
Alan, I don't exactly agree with everything you've posted.
Many of the OPs that have been raided, shut down, etc over the last few years are not being prosecuted under the controlled substances act, but rather more vague state laws dealing with ions in general, and those same laws could be applied to any online ion.
September 28th, 2007, 01:45 AM #12
Wow, this is more complicated than I though. Thank you so much guys. I didn't even know what class 4s are. It's true Alan, I've handled like 4 affiliate programs so far, but this is the first time I'm going into anything high risk. Pharmacy sites are a whole different creature all together.
I think I better brush up on my knowledge of the law and what it entails to run an affiliate program for pharmacy sites before I proceed. Some of the meds you mentioned (Cialis, Viagra, Propecia and Xenical) are in fact being sold on our site. We have both brand name and generic medication (but no mention of "generic viagra" or any of that sort). We also have US licensed pharmacies and physicians. But hell, I'm still scared to go into this blind.
I'm so glad I stumbled into this forum. At least now I know the reason why affiliate networks are so cautious about working with us. Again, I really really appreciate all the help...I'd probably be in a lot of trouble if I didn't learn all that I did here.
September 28th, 2007, 02:04 AM #13
- Join Date
- January 18th, 2005
- Nunya, Business
I would listen to Eathan on this one having experience in running affiliate programs for pharmacy merchants.
September 28th, 2007, 02:30 AM #14Originally Posted by Trust
I'm no longer part of the Rx industry, but a lot of the people I worked with, including not only execs, but AMs and even some affiliates have been indicted and face possible jail time.
These were US programs, with US doctors and US pharmacies shipping product meant for US sale and only shipping to states that allowed online scripts. Some others tried to go offshore, but many of the programs hit early on were trying to follow the letter of the law.
violetdolor, I'd be careful and learn all you can about what you're getting into before you lift a finger. The grand jury is an interesting experience, but not all that fun, and cripes is Philly humid!