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

Internet Pharmacy Doctor Charged With Prescribing Without Examinations

Dr. Charles McCool, a Pennsylvania doctor, was charged in Pennsylvania state court for prescribing controlled substances via an internet pharmacy to patients without a prior physical examination.  Specifically, McCool was charged with one count of “unlawfully administering/dispensing/delivery of a controlled substance by a practitioner unless done in good faith in the course of his professional practice or within the scope of the patient relationship.”

McCool allegedly prescribed narcotics to five different Pennsylvania residents without conducting a “physical examination.”  In one case, however, McCool conducted two 10 minute telephone consultations with a patient.  It is unclear whether the internet pharmacy in question required any form of a health questionnaire; however, it allegedly did not require the patient to submit medical records.

The language of the above-charge is somewhat similar to the ambiguous language in the Controlled Substances Act and its associated regulations, prior to the Ryan Haight Act amendment, which defined a “valid prescription” as a prescription issued for a legitimate medical purpose and in the usual court of professional practice.  One of the issues in Dr. McCool’s case will inevitably be what level of medical scrutiny is required under the Pennsylvania code.

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 lawyer knowledgeable in prescription, drug and internet pharmacy law, including the Controlled Substances Act, the Ryan Haight Act amendment and Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act violations, please feel free to contact one of us directly.

Category: Doctors