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Most Websites selling controlled drugs fail to require a prescription.

More than 80 percent of Websites that advertise or sell controlled prescription drugs such as OxyContin, Valium, Xanax, Vicodin, and Ritalin do not require a prescription, according to a report issued by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University,

CASA researchers found a total of 365 Websites advertising or selling controlled prescription drugs during 210 hours of research in the first quarter of 2008, compared to 581 sites during the same period in 2007. Only two of the 365 sites were certified by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy as Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites.

The CASA report identified an emerging practice of Internet sites selling prescriptions for controlled drugs that can be filled at local pharmacies. The report also found sites selling online "medical consultations," which enable Internet users to get controlled drugs online without a prescription. Of the few sites that require prescriptions, half permit them to be faxed, allowing significant opportunity for fraud.

According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, 11 percent of prescriptions filled by traditional pharmacies in 2007 were for controlled substances, compared to 80 percent of prescriptions filled by Internet pharmacies.
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Publication:The Journal of Employee Assistance
Date:Oct 1, 2008
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