DENVER – Attorney General John Suthers announced today that the Colorado Board of Pharmacy has suspended Western States Pharmacy from distributing pharmaceuticals and filed a Notice of Charges against Wendell Almeida, the pharmacist’s manager, following an investigation conducted by the Colorado Board of Pharmacy. The Attorney General represents the Board of Pharmacy in prosecuting the matter.
“Pharmaceutical sales over the Internet can be subject to widespread abuse,” said Suthers. “Our investigation of Western States Pharmacy revealed that their manager dispensed an unauthorized prescription received over the Internet without getting proper approval from a doctor.”
In addition to alleging that a prescription dispensed by Western States was not properly approved by a doctor, the Board of Pharmacy further alleges that the pharmacy dispensed the prescription from an unregistered location.
While purchasing prescriptions online is not in itself illegal, a pharmacy that fills online prescriptions without verifying the validity of the relationship between the doctor and the patient violates Board rules.
“Websites that arrange pharmaceutical sales are often fly-by-night operations, arranging sales of large quantities of controlled substances and other prescription drugs to customers across the country,” said Suthers. “In many cases, the prescriptions are filled solely on medical information provided by the consumer through online questionnaires.”
Suthers further recognized that the ease with which drugs can be purchased online allows anyone, including minors, to obtain large amounts of potentially harmful drugs.
“The Internet has made the purchase of drugs much too easy,” said Suthers. “In many instances, the consumer only needs a computer, Internet access and a credit card to make a purchase.”
The matter will be set for a hearing before the Office of Administrative Courts later this year.