Skip to content
    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    A Cat Can Order Viagra?

    Online prescriptions are easy to get. Do you know the risks?

    A Cat Can Order Viagra

    Government health officials are concerned that the ease with which consumers can now get prescription drugs over the Internet could lead to widespread misuse, with serious -- if not always lethal -- consequences for consumers. A reporter from Glamour magazine, for example, recently ordered a diet drug even though she indicated on the questionnaire used by one site that she weighed just 97 pounds. A Michigan reporter used her cat's name, acknowledged under "prior surgeries" that it was neutered, but successfully ordered Viagra for the feline.

    "We had [the 16-year-old son of] one of our employees . . . order Viagra over the Internet and he received it," says Carla Stovall, Kansas attorney general. "Those are the kinds of things that I think concern everybody." The issue is gaining attention in Washington, where Congress and the White House are considering intervention. President Clinton has already proposed giving the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sweeping new powers to regulate and certify drug-selling sites. "When medications are classified as prescription drugs, it is done so for a reason," says FDA commissioner Jane Henney, MD. "These drugs have been judged to have sufficient risks that they should not be provided to patients without a health professional's involvement."

    Some states have already started investigating online drug peddlers. Earlier this month, New Jersey sued eight online pharmacies selling Viagra, charging that they failed to disclose that they lacked a New Jersey license and claiming that the use of an online questionnaire to diagnose patients falls short of the state's standards. In Oregon, a doctor was recently fined and placed on probation for 10 years by that state's Board of Medical Examiners for prescribing Viagra and other drugs over the Internet to patients he never examined. Last year, Illinois, Kansas, and Missouri also went after Internet drug merchants and the National Association of Attorneys General has said it is studying the issue.

    Still, Harvey Jacobs, a Washington Internet lawyer, says the federal government should not develop special regulations for online pharmacies. Instead, it should ask the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Postal Service to work harder. "Those entities now regulate rogue operations and have sufficient tools to go and shut them down," he says.

    Hot Topics

    WebMD Video: Now Playing

    Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

    Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

    disciplining a boy
    Types, symptoms, causes.
    fruit drinks
    Eat these to think better.
    embarrassed woman
    Do you feel guilty after eating?
    diabetes supply kit
    Pack and prepare.
    handful of vegetables and vitamins
    Diet tips and mistakes.
    birth control pills
    Which kind is right for you?
    Remember your finger
    Are you getting more forgetful?
    sticky notes on face
    10 tips to clear your brain fog.
    Close up of eye
    12 reasons you're distracted.
    Trainer demonstrating exercise for RA
    Exercises for your joints.
    apple slices with peanut butter
    What goes best with workouts?
    woman having a good day
    Revitalize your life.

    Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

    It's nothing to sneeze at.

    Loading ...

    Sending your email...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

    Thanks!

    Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

    Women's Health Newsletter

    Find out what women really need.