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DATE: 12/13/2006
Arizona Medical Board Issues Policy Statement on Internet Prescribing

Scottsdale, Ariz. - During its December meeting the Arizona Medical Board approved a Substantive Policy Statement to provide guidance to and educate physicians on the law regarding Internet Prescribing.

In its policy statement, the Board states that on-line questionnaires do not meet the standard of care for the safe practice of medicine that requires an established doctor-patient relationship prior to prescribing.

The substantive policy statement: - explains the standard of care required when prescribing drugs or medical devices, - recognizes the law regarding prescribing, - identifies Internet prescribing and the problems associated with it, - distinguishes Internet prescribing from e-Prescribing and Telemedicine; and - concludes with the Board‘s position on the requirement to properly establish a physician-patient relationship prior to issuing a prescription.

Physicians establish their relationships with patients by obtaining an accurate and thorough medical history and conducting a physical examination.

The Medical Board issued the SPS because of its concern for the public safety and its concern that physicians were unaware of the applicable law when they agreed to work for these internet websites. The Board has disciplined physicians for failure to comply with the legal requirement of establishing a physician-patient relationship before prescribing medication. This policy does not prohibit or interfere with legitimate Telemedicine.

Substantive Policy Statement #12 on Internet Prescribing is available on this Web site under the menu item, “Statutes & Rules.”