A federal judge in Atlanta sentenced Dr. Vladimir Andries to three years probation on Monday for his role in an internet pharmacy operation. Andries, who faced up to two years in federal prison, was indicted in 2006 along with six other doctors for their role in the online pharmacy scheme. In his plea bargain, Andries admitted that he had written 1000s of weight loss prescriptions between 2002 and 2003 to internet customers without “a legitimate doctor-patient relationship.”
As I have mentioned previously, even the Federation of State Medical Boards has admitted that online consultations, while not optimal, do constitute doctor-patient relationships. I admit that I do not know the specific facts of the internet pharmacy business model associated with Mr. Andries. However, if it is similar to the traditional online consultation service model that requires medical records, I am shocked that a criminal defense attorney would willingly allow his client to admit that fact, especially prior to the effective date of the Ryan Haight Act amendment to The Controlled Substances Act. Of course, it is also likely that Mr. Andries thought three years probation was too good to pass up when he faced potential prison time.
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Category: Internet Pharmacy Law