New Law Re: Ordering Opioids Online

Karen Lee Richards Health Guide
  • As of April 13, 2009, if you want to order a controlled substance over the Internet, U.S. Federal law requires that you must have a valid prescription from a doctor who has given you a face-to-face physical examination and medical evaluation for the condition for which you are requesting medication.  There are no exceptions to this rule. 

    We've all seen ads from online pharrmacies who offer opioid medications like oxycodone that say, “No prescription required.”  These sites have you fill out a form describing your ailments and their on-staff “doctor” writes you a prescription.  Common sense tells us this is a dangerous practice.  Now, it's also illegal. 

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    This new law, called The Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act of 2008, was signed by President Bush on Oct. 15, 2008 and went into effect on April 13, 2009.  If you would like to read the entire text of the bill you can see it here:   The Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act of 2008

    I'm sure you're going to continue seeing these ads since this is a U.S. law and many, if not most, of these pharmacies are in other countries (even though they may give a U.S. address on their site).  I know it can be tempting to order from these sites when you're having trouble finding a doctor who will treat your pain adequately.  And these sites usually offer lower prices, which is a real draw in these tough economic times.  But the risk of ordering from these online pharmacies far outweighs any potential benefit. 

    Often this type of online pharmacy is a scam designed to get your credit card number and steal your identity.  You may never get the medication you ordered.  Even if you receive the medication, it may not be what you think it is.  Frequently the dosage is not what it's supposed to be and sometimes it's not even the drug you ordered.  People have gotten very ill and even died because of dangerous ingredients found in these medications. 

    So before you even consider ordering any kind of medication online, please read:  A Guide to Buying Prescription Drugs on the Internet

Published On: May 13, 2009