Prescription Justice Institute
Putting patient access to healthcare first in the digital global marketplace
We are here to support patients
The Prescription Justice Institute (PJI) seeks to bring international policy coherence to increase online and international access to affordable and safe medicines, especially for patients who cannot obtain necessary medical products domestically and choose to import them.
When it comes to that subject, patients are confronted by conflicting and overlapping local, national, and regional laws and norms that leave significant regulatory gaps, which impact the ability of patients to access adequate treatment.
By means of research, policy development, and advocacy, PJI endeavors to bring international policy coherence to maximize online and international access to affordable and safe medicines.
PJI is a New York-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
Almost any medicine can be purchased online from abroad. Many high-income countries permit individuals to import medicines for their personal use. However, those who import medicines face the risk of purchasing poor-quality products…
Physicians’ legal duty to disclose more cost-effective treatment options: an examination of Australian civil law applied to personal importation
A significant proportion of Australians defer or do not fill prescriptions they require due to cost. This article explores whether, and under what circumstances, physicians have a duty to assist these patients by…
Promoting the personal importation of therapeutic goods: recent legislative amendments to advertising regulations may impact consumer access and understanding
The personal importation scheme is a legislative mechanism that allows health consumers to import unapproved medicines under certain conditions. This article analyses the legal and policy basis for the scheme and considers how…
PER capita Australians spend more out of pocket on their health than citizens of all G7 countries other than the United States. It is therefore no surprise many Australians forgo or delay taking…
In the mid 2010s, breakthrough medicines that promised to cure hepatitis C came onto the market. The catch was, the pharmaceutical company Gilead set the price of up to £70 000 for a 3-month…
Efforts have been ongoing in the ICANN community to develop a better understanding of its role in the combat of abuse. This theme has been rising in prominence every year since 2018, and…
Board of Directors
We are committed to establishing a network of professionals from different backgrounds that can offer a balanced, critical approach to the actions taken by the Institute, making sure that our goals are being met in an accountable manner.
Former Board members: Andrew S. Goldman
Aria Ilyad AhmadYork University
Global Health Foresighting Research Fellow
Global Health Foresighting Research Fellow at the Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research, York University. Since 2014, he has also consulted for the World Health Organization’s Department for Essential Medicines and Health Products. Aria has testified on pharmaceutical policy issues before the Canadian Senate, consulted on disaster health emergency preparedness for Public Health Ontario, and is a faculty member of the University of Toronto’s Global Health Education Initiative. He is a Fellow at the Center for Global Health Security and Diplomacy, past Duke University Global Health Fellow and is a former TEDMED Scholar. Aria previously served on the international board of Universities Allied for Essential Medicines, and was the inaugural Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders Access Fellow.
He received his MSc in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Toronto and is completing his PhD in Global Health Governance at the Balsillie School of International Affairs in Waterloo, Canada.
Jodi DartAssociation of Community Mental Health Authorities of IL
Jodi began her career as a Health Educator for the Sangamon County Department of Public Health, then developing experience in grassroots advocacy and coalition building as a community organizer with the Illinois Coalition Against Tobacco (ICAT).
Jodi received her bachelor’s degree in health service administration and masters in public administration from the University of Illinois. Jodi has almost 20 years of experience in non-profit association and organization management. She was the executive director of the Prescription Justice Action Group, a 501c4 non-profit organization dedicated to ending the crisis of high drug prices in America. Prior to that role, she served as the Associate Executive Director for the Illinois Public Health Association (IPHA). In 2014, Ms. Dart was appointed as IPHA’s representative to the Illinois Terrorism Ta
Mark W. DatysgeldICANN
BA and Master in International Relations, focused on Internet Governance. Further specialized in health technology and in the usage of diverse language writing systems online. Mark is a member of the ICANN GNSO Council. Under the Governance Primer brand, he develops research and helps create strategies for transnational engagement with technology-related questions. He is also a lecturer and course developer, having organized and spoken in dozens of workshops and classes carried out in different languages. Mark has previous professional experience of several years, and still acts whenever the opportunity arises, in coding and multimedia development.
Rebecca FeldmanCNM, PMHNP
Rebecca Feldman, CNM,PMHNP, practices in a dual role as a midwife and Psychiatric Nurse-Practitioner, in the field of maternal mental health. She sees clients in private practice in the offices of Boro Park Ob/Gyn and Midwives, and at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Queens, NY as part of the perinatal psychiatry team.
She is a graduate of Frontier Nursing University (CNM, MSN) and New York University (BSN and NP). She is a frequent guest speaker on the subject of maternal mental health to such groups as Postpartum Support International, 1199, Northwell Health, New York University School of Nursing, and NYC Health and Hospitals. Rebecca is an advocate for making maternal mental health care accessible to all families in need.
Pierre MendiharatMédecins Sans Frontières (MSF)
Access Project Leader
Pierre Mendiharat has 20 years of professional experience in the medical humanitarian and development sectors. At the operation department of Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières), he has coordinated medical activities in Liberia, South Sudan, Ivory Coast or Afghanistan and has assumed executive responsibilities at the Paris Headquarters as regional Director for East Africa and Eastern Europe, then Deputy Director of Operations during 6 years. He was the Project Director of the French public agency ESTHER, dedicated to hospital cooperation and supporting patients’ associations in the fight against HIV/AIDS. These assignments taught him how hard and often impossible it is for millions of patients in the Low and Middle Income Countries to access life-saving medicines. His actions in this field have consisted in implementing operational research projects for simplified and adapted protocols, and in advocacy action through public communications. Since 2022 he has been leading for MSF the development of a non-profit international online pharmacy.
Pierre received a Master’s degree in Population and Development from the Sorbonne university in 2012 and a Master’s degree in Business and Administration from the Toulouse Business School in 1996.
Gabriel LevittFounder, Prescription Justice Institute
Gabe is a noted advocate for prescription drug affordability in America, Internet freedom, and the United Nations. He is the founder of the Prescription Justice Institute and also the founder and Chair of the Prescription Justice Action Group, which advocates for lower drug prices in the United States. In 2002, Gabe co-founded PharmacyChecker, which evaluates online pharmacies for safety credentials and compares prescription drug prices, both domestic and international, empowering consumers worldwide with information that helps them afford prescription drugs. Gabe served as PharmacyChecker’s president from 2015-2023 and continues to advise the company on matters relating to public policy and advocacy. Gabe has testified before Congress on issues relating to access to affordable medicines and Internet freedom, published an op-ed in the New York Times about online pharmacies and personal drug importation, and is the proud author of a chapter in an anthology called Hacking Politics about defeating the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). Gabe is president emeritus of the United Nations Association Brooklyn Chapter and the recipient of the United Nations Association Molly Bruce Advocacy Award.
Gabe received his master’s in International Relations from American University and a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Political Science from Roger Williams University. He is currently pursuing a JD at Brooklyn Law School.
Jane HorvathHorvath Health Policy
Jane Horvath is an experienced health policy analyst and policymaker. She was responsible for researching and developing a model U.S. state-based prescription drug importation program. Jane brings years of experience in health care financing, coverage, and management to the organizations she serves, helping them understand and anticipate the changing US market and policy landscape. She has worked extensively with state and federal officials, non-profit organizations, foundations, and commercial entities, such as MACPAC, NASHP, and 3D Communications. She has conducted quantitative and qualitative research and has written extensively on health care issues, particularly pharmaceuticals. She was Executive Director of Health Policy and Reimbursement at Merck for a decade. Prior to Merck, Jane was Deputy Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation project at Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, conducting research and devising policy on care management and financing for people with chronic conditions. Jane also held a series of high-profile government positions. This included work as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Legislation in the US Department of Health and Human Services, responsible for legislative policy for all health-related areas, including Medicare, Medicaid, and prescription drug pricing. Jane earned a Master of Health Services Administration from the George Washington University.
Narcyz GhineaMacquarie University
Narcyz Ghinea is a bioethicist and health policy analyst with a keen interest in finding creative ways of ensuring fair access to medicines. He is currently a Research Fellow at the Centre of Agency, Values and Ethics, Macquarie University, and a Research Affiliate at the University of Sydney School of Public Health. He has numerous peer-reviewed publications across a range of disciplines including medicine, bioethics, health policy, health law, and health sociology and in leading medical journals such as the Lancet and BMJ. Narcyz co-developed and coordinated the popular Masters degree unit Medicines Policy, Economics and Ethics at the University of Sydney, and continues to guest lecture into various Masters units. Outside the Academy, Narcyz has worked across an array of healthcare and government organisations including the NSW Ministry of Health, the Clinical Excellence Commission, the South Western Sydney Area Health Surface, and the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District. In these roles Narcyz’ work focused on medication and patient safety, clinical governance, and clinical ethics. He has a PhD in medicine (UNSW) and a Bachelor’s degree with honours in mathematics (UNSW).
Brussels Principles On The Sale Of Medicines Over The Internet
Access to affordable medical products is a fundamental component of the right to health
At the ethical center of PJI’s work are the Brussels Principle on the Sale of Medicine over the Internet, which affirm that access to affordable medical products is a fundamental component of the right to health. As a corollary, patients with a valid prescription should be able to obtain a medicine internationally that is not affordable or available domestically, including by ordering it over the Internet. PJI seeks to raise awareness, promote discussion and adoption of the Brussels Principles.
Projects and Research
Defense of patients whose legitimate medicine imports are subject to regulatory detainment or refusal
PJI undertakes to help patients protect and gain access to their imported medicines through letters and petitions to their national drug regulatory authorities. Its launching initiative is in the U.S. where the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sometimes uses it regulatory powers to detain and destroy legitimate medicines imported by patients for personal use.
We endeavor to incubate and conduct research towards:
1) The development of new, and promotion and advancement of existing, legal arguments and mechanisms for protecting patients who import medicines for their own use; 2) Advancing and promoting best practices related to the personal importation of medicines from a public health perspective; 3) Evaluating existing and shaping future legislative and regulatory frameworks at the sub-national, national, international, and global levels that affect online access to medicines, 4) Exploring and explaining public and private sector Internet regulatory regimes that affect consumer welfare, with a focus on medical products, specifically, and healthcare, generally.