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Website Pill Pushing Draws Warning of AMA

Under the possible heading of "it would be funny if not true", is a new report in the July 19, 1999 American Medical News reporting on strong action from the AMA against medical doctors prescribing drugs over the Internet. At the AMA annual meeting, the organization came out strong and called for state medical societies, governing regulatory boards and licensing boards to investigate and prosecute doctors who dispense pills to patients without ever examining them. AMA trustee Donald Palmisano, MD said, "It is inappropriate and it puts patients at great risk."

The most common drug prescribed over the internet presently is Viagra. Sites pushing this drug reportedly have catchy names like and . On these sites nothing more than an on-line questionnaire is need to receive the prescription.

Although Viagra leads the way in on-line prescriptions other drugs that are also becoming popular include Propecia, Proscar, and Claritin.

The AMA report does not condemn all on-line prescribing but favors ways to protect and enhance what they termed legitimate electronic prescribing.