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

Ryan Haight Act Effective Date: The Internet Pharmacy Indictment Waiting Game?

According to the text of the Ryan Haight Act, most of its provisions, including the ones outlawing internet pharmacy prescriptions without a doctor’s face to face physical examination, have an effective date of 180 days after the law’s enactment:

Except as provided in paragraph (2), the amendments made by this Act shall take effect 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act.

Thus, it appears that the regulations will take effect 180 days from October 15, 2008 (the date of President Bush’s signature).

Those are the dry, boring details.  The truly interesting thing about the Ryan Haight Online Consumer Protection Act to a criminal defense lawyer is the fact that the DOJ and DEA have been investigating, indicting, and prosecuting doctors, pharmacists, and internet pharmacy owners and affiliates for the very acts that the Ryan Haight Act seeks to outlaw long before the law’s enactment.  Aside from the fact that this practice is legally flawed, the real question is what will the feds do now?  Do they postpone future indictments until the effective date, or do they go ahead with indictments under their pre-Ryan Haight Act theory, given that they have a very successful conviction rate?  Thus, the real question is are we in a holding pattern, or are prosecutors, the DOJ and the DEA continuing as scheduled?  It is really anyone’s guess until we see the next indictment.

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