Maine Pharmacy Association

DHHS shared guidance documents for e-prescribing and opioid dispensing

DHHS shared guidance documents for e-prescribing and opioid dispensing.  Notably, “A pharmacist is NOT required to verify that a practitioner has a waiver of the requirement to electronically prescribe…” To review the official documents, please click on the links below. Electronic-Prescribing-Clarifications Opioid Dispensing Clarification    

E-Prescribing Grace Period Notice and Chapter 488 User Guide

The deadline for mandatory e-prescribing of opioids was rapidly approaching on July 1st. However, the State sent the following communication announcing a 31 day grace period for enforcement of the penalties for violating the e-prescribing provision.  This is good news and will give prescribers and dispensers a little more time to prepare. DHHS provided material on other provisions in Chapter […]

2017 Scholarship Golf Scramble

Join us for our 2017 Scholarship Golf Scramble ! Where: Val Halla Country Club When: Saturday, August 12, 2017 Shotgun start 1pm Includes 18 holes of golf on a championship course, golf cart, BBQ dinner at Rachel’s on the Green! Cost: Single Golfer: $110.00 Foursome: $400.00 Dinner Only: $35.00 Corporate or personal hole sponsorship: $75 […]

Pharmacists from across Maine convene in Augusta to advocate for profession and patients

Pharmacists and pharmacy students from across the state convened in Augusta on May 30th to advocate for LD 572.   Update: Senate passes LD 572; now on to the House!  LD 572 specifies in statute that the “Practice of Pharmacy” is “the provision of health care services” and that “Pharmacists” are “providers of health care services”. […]

LD6 and LD44 Are Successfully Moving Through the Legislative Process

Good news!!  Two bills, LD 6, an “An Act to Prohibit Insurance Carriers from Retroactively Reducing Payment on Clean Claims Submitted by Pharmacies” and LD 455, “An Act Relating to the Provision of Smoking Cessation Services by Pharmacists” are moving through the legislature process. LD 6, an “An Act to Prohibit Insurance Carriers from Retroactively Reducing Payment on […]

INTERNATIONAL (WGME) – CBS 13 News is investigating the safety of prescription medicine you can buy online with just a few clicks. The Food and Drug Administration is shutting down thousands of sites it says are illegally selling potentially dangerous drugs, but we were able to easily get medication in the mail without a prescription.

Dr. Greg Adey is a urologist in Portland. He says erectile dysfunction is a top complaint with his patients, which he often treats with prescription drugs, like Viagra. As the drug has become more and more popular during the last 15 years, dozens of websites have popped up selling the diamond-shaped pill without a visit to a doctor and without a prescription.

We opened up that box with a quick Google search for “order Viagra online.” We found several websites offering “easy purchase” and “no doctor visit.” It only took a few clicks and $50 to order what claimed to be 10 generic Viagra.

We took what we got in the mail just a few days later, shipped from India, to pharmacist Joe Bruno.

“It’s illegal. There’s no label on that which it’s supposed to have. No name or doctor. Did you have to go through any questions? They just sent it. All illegal,” Bruno said.

Not only illegal, Bruno says, likely not effective either.

“There is no generic for Viagra. Viagra doesn’t look anything like this,” he said.

So if the purple pills we got in the mail aren’t generic Viagra as the online pharmacy says, what are they? We took the pills to the University of New England College of Pharmacy to find out.

“We’re going to analyze the sample you’ve provided in order to determine what the product is by molecular weight,” Dr. McCall said.

The tests found the tablets do contain the active ingredient in Viagra: Sildenafil but not 50 milligrams as the label says and what you’d find in Pfizer’s Viagra. In fact, the lab analysis shows the pill doesn’t even have 7 milligrams of the ingredient.

“We found less than 1/7 of what was labeled was present,” Dr. McCall said.

The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy recently reviewed more than 10,000 internet drug outlets selling prescription medications. It found almost 97% of them aren’t in compliance with the law and / or safety standards. The report cites the outlets for non-compliance for some of the following reasons: “Do not post any address,” “Do not require valid Rx,” “Issue Rx per online consult,” and “Sell foreign drugs.”

“That’s a major problem with mail order pharmacies,” Bruno said.

Depending on the drug, medical professionals say, it can also be dangerous or deadly.

“If it were a heart medicine, diabetes medicine, I would be extremely concerned this could result in an emergency room visit or hospitalization because the patient got an inadequate dose,” Dr. McCall explained.

We’ll be taking the pills back to the lab so they can be properly disposed. We’ve also reported the website, the experience, and the lab results to the FDA, which a spokesperson says triggered a compliance investigation. The FDA wanted us to mention that at no time did any of us or anyone at the lab actually ingest those tablets.

After several calls and e-mails to the online pharmacy, an operator who said she was in the UK asked us to email the lab results and then hung up. The website for the drug manufacturer printed on the label, doesn’t work. An email response sent to CBS 13 appears to be a standard, form reply.”

Watch the entire news video here.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.