TRIBAL INTERNET PHARMACY FRUSTRATES DRUG REGULATORS

Published Online: Wednesday, November 1, 2006

An Internet pharmacy operated by Oklahoma's Seneca-Cayuga Indian tribe has created a tangle of regulatory confusion and uncertainty among state and federal drug officials.

The pharmacy, which is located on tribal land near Grove, Okla, came to the attention of pharmacy regulators in Ohio when a prescription vial from the Indian pharmacy was found at the scene of a serious traffic accident.

Oklahoma pharmacy board officials contend that the tribe's pharmacy is being run by an unlicensed pharmacist and is distributing medicine without a valid state pharmacy license. Because the operation is on tribal land, state regulators have been told that they have no authority over the pharmacy.

Federal officials may have jurisdiction to challenge the tribe's pharmacy if the business is found to be trafficking in narcotics or other dangerous drugs. Investigators from the US Drug Enforcement Administration, however, turned up no evidence that prescriptions for federally controlled substances were being dispensed.




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