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AMA, Federal Government Fret More About Online Prescribing and Pharmacy

The AMA has come out with its strongest condemnation of online prescribing, recommending that action be taken against physicians who prescribe based solely on a patient's answers to an online questionnaire.The AMA contends that this practice "falls below a minimum standard of medical care."

State and federal agencies are paying more attention to online prescribing, too. At least 10 states are investigating physicians who prescribe online. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has invested in a $100,000 computer system designed to find companies that sell prescription drugs online without a patient's prescription, while doubling, to 20, the number of agents that are assigned to the task. In addition, a House Commerce subcommittee is considering whether to develop legislation that would require medical and pharmacy web sites to reveal more information about their credentials, to make investigations easier.

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