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Inside Scoop: Congress moving forward on Internet pharmacy legislation today

The House Energy and Commerce committee is moving forward on the HR 6353, otherwise known as the Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act, this very morning. The inside scoop: it’s likely to pass and be on the President’s desk by the end of the month, or early next.

LegitScript supports the legislation. However, we’re concerned that the bill only applies to controlled substances. In short, the bill explicitly defines a “valid prescription” to require a prior in-person examination by a physician.

That’s great. However, 90% (or more) of shady Internet pharmacies aren’t selling controlled substances like hydrocodone or Xanax. Rather, they are selling non-controlled substances: Soma, Tramadol, Fioricet, Viagra, Lipitor, and the like. Passage of this bill will almost certainly give weight to the argument that for those drugs, Congress explicitly meant to not require a prior in-person examination.

That’s not an argument that LegitScript buys, for reasons we’ll blog about later. But it’s going to be an unintended and negative consequence of an otherwise good bill.