Criminal Defense Attorney Analysis of Internet Pharmacy, Prescription, and Drug Law

Washington Woman Pleads Guilty to Operating Internet Pharmacy

On August 19, 2008, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington announced that Kathleen Gain of Auburn, Washington entered a guilty plea in which she admitted to operating and/or working for what looks like four quasi-online consultation service pharmacy websites (OCS).  The press release stated:

Court documents indicate that during 2007 through early 2008, GAIN worked for multiple internet pharmacy prescription drug web sites, including, and These web sites were acting in violation of law. The basic method of operation was that an individual would order prescription drugs on the web site, the web site would employ physicians to authorize the prescriptions, and the drugs would be delivered to the purchaser’s residence or the purchaser would pick up the drugs at a pharmacy. The physicians would never have any contact with the drug purchaser/customer. No patient examinations were ever conducted by the physicians. All of the prescriptions were illegitimate and unlawful, and the distributions of controlled substances were in violation of federal law.

As I mentioned above, these websites appear to differ from the traditional online consultation service websites (OCS) whereby doctors, under contract with the website, do in fact consult with patients, usually over the phone, after reviewing a patient’s medical records and proof of identification.  The prescription is then filled by a pharmacy affiliated or contracting with the same website.  Unlike the traditional OCS, the internet OCS websites discussed in the press release above appear to have bypassed creating any form of doctor/patient relationship whatsoever.  Instead the doctor was merely signing prescriptions for website customers without any form of consultation at all.  You can review the Auburn Reporter’s take here.  Given the fact that there are so many different types of internet pharmacies operating on the web, I plan to intensively discuss the different varieties in an upcoming post this weekend.

The content on this post does not constitute legal advice and is for informational purposes only.  You should not act upon the information presented on this website without seeking the advice of legal counsel.  Should you wish to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney knowledgeable in internet pharmacy, prescription, and drug law, please feel free to contact me directly.

Category: Court Cases Doctors Online Consultations Pharmacies Website Owners