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

Analyzing the DEA Press Release on the Signing of the Ryan Haight Act

The DEA wasted no time issuing its press release on President Bush’s signing of the Ryan Haight Act:

Cyber-criminals illegally peddling controlled substances over the Internet have invaded households and threatened America’s youth for far too long by supplying pharmaceuticals with a few clicks of a mouse and a credit card number,” Acting Administrator Leonhart said.

Rogue Internet pharmacies typically operate with active participation of an unscrupulous doctor who willingly issues prescriptions to “patients” throughout the country whom the doctor never sees and without a preexisting bona fide doctor-patient relationship.

Despite the fact that the doctor-patient relationship argument is less of an issue once the Ryan Haight law becomes effective, the DEA continues to attempt to bolster its position and unilaterally determine physician standards of care.  Presumably this last sentence was thrown in the release in an attempt to not undermine pending pre-Ryan Haight Act prosecutions, which depend on the doctor-patient relationship argument.  Given that the Federation of State Medical Boards has expressly stated that online consulations do constitute physician patient relationships, I will always remain puzzled about how the DEA can rationally think otherwise — especially when no federal law that I am aware of exists to support their position.

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: Legislation