Update on the Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection

Alex Sicre, who I follow on Twitter, sent me a note to remind me that H.R. 6353 had passed in the House of Representatives last week. It was received in the Senate last Thursday and is expected to pass there as well.

In the face of Congress’ apparent bumbling of the $700 billion financial bailout package, I’m glad to know that something useful can still emerge from the lawmaking process.

H.R. 6353 is named for Ryan Haight, who died of an overdose of Vicodin after ordering the pills over the Internet without a prescription. (You can read more about Ryan here.)

You can read the full text of the legislation here; here’s a summary of its provisions:

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  • Amends the Controlled Substances Act to prohibit the delivery, distribution, or dispensing of controlled substances over the Internet without a valid prescription. Exempts telemedicine practitioners.
  • Defines “valid prescription” as a prescription that is issued for a legitimate purpose by a practitioner who has conducted at least one in-person medical evaluation of the patient.
  • Adds definitions to the Controlled Substances Act relating to online pharmacies and the issuance of prescriptions over the Internet.
    Imposes registration and reporting requirements on online pharmacies.
  • Authorizes the Attorney General to issue a special registration under this Act for telemedicine practitioners.
  • Increases criminal penalties involving controlled substances in Schedules II, IV, and V of the Controlled Substances Act.
  • Authorizes states to apply for injunctions or obtain damages and other civil remedies against online pharmacies that are deemed a threat to state residents.

Keep in mind that proper licensed Canadian pharmacies do not never ship controlled substances into the U.S., so this act applies to rogue pharmacies, both in the U.S. and worldwide. We applaud the Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act — because the more that is done to protect Americans against rogue pharmacies, the more they will look to the many benefits that legitimate online pharmacies have to offer.

About Cary Byrd

eDrugSearch founder, Cary Byrd, has been called an “e-health innovator” by MarketIntellNow, interviewed by top pharmaceutical industry journalists, invited to Matthew Holt’s Health 2.0 Conference and a Consumer Report's health summit, and highlighted on numerous health blogs.

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0 thoughts on “Update on the Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection

  • Cary:

    Thank you for the summary. Hopefully this Bill will help consumers understand the differences between legitimate online pharmacies and rogue pharmacies and raise awareness of legal operations.

    I still have conversations with patients who believe most online pharmacies are illegal.


  • well i still have problems naming a bill after Ryan……….He was a known drug abuser………his web site is still running strong ………His father is a doctor…….For this I question that his parents were clueless

  • Are you kidding –

    Why doesn’t Congress get real! How about banning China imports of deadly items made with slave labor prices. My heart goes out to Ryan’s family – However, this does not come close to correction anything!

  • Sad. Sad…….congress named a bill after a drug abuser……..there is no honor in our country anymore………He was a RAVER…….And on his web site informed other children on a perfect high …….RIP…….Ryan…..your parents had spend so much time getting a bill named after you…..that energy should of been there when you were alive……

  • Amazing.

    Another senseless law passed to cause those who suffer and un-insured more pain due to one, know several individuals neglect a) Ryan, who is a known abuser, b) his family who probably spent more time getting this bill passed then they did with him while he was alive.

    I hope everyone out there that is in pain can get insurance and that with Obama, we can all get insurance with our premiums going down.

    We’ll see, we’ll see.

    Terrible news for those that suffer.

  • when they pass this law they were clueless……so would you believe them when they are passing laws on the big bail out? Shame on congress passing a law after a drug addict…..It goes to show you if you have money you can do anything…..time to get rid of congress and get some smart people in there. They get the best health care in the world ,,,,,,while I must pay to get medicine at a high cost

  • In 2001, the year of the young adult, Mr. Haight’s demise, whitehouse.com was an “adult” site frequently seen by children. Since that time, the adult industry “cleaned up it act” and put in safeguards to ensure its online presence.

    Similarly, most so-called “online pharmcies” were not what the name impies.They too matured in their behavior and required documented medical records, proof of age (at least 25 generally) and involved frequent telephonic consults with US licensed Doctors. Rigid refill schedules are followed, just as with any face-to-face medical practice. Mr. Haight, being youg & healthy would have been hard pressed to surmount these safeguards.

    Ironically, in the chat room where Mr. Haight was considered a “guru” and a “deft chronicler of his trips”, there is no talk or concern about this law. Those jaded young people will still know where to go for their “trips”.

    Older folks who suffer daily in pain and qualified for online medical services are the ones who will feel the sad effect.

    This was an ill-researched “feel good” law that whose ramifications were never debated.

  • It’s digusting how every bad parent feels they need another law to excuse their bad parenting. On top of that the bad parents have the government enact these laws so they can continue to be bad parents with the excuse that it’s the governments job to make laws to parent for them. It’s sick really.

  • Any one that reads this blog…..should write your congress person…..to let them know what a big* mistake they made……..Just to let you know, his web page is still going strong……plus, DARE…….. they are going into our schools and letting our kids call Ray a hero?…..Is this sick?……..and the government is clueless………?

  • When people are in pain they will find pain killers. So far Heroine replaces the lack of lesser pain killers. Of course the Taliban controls the Heroine , so this bill will make the Taliban richer , cause more overdoses ( it’s a whole lot easier to overdose on H ). It’s great to hear from so many informed people on this site.

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