An Internet pharmacy operatedby Oklahoma's Seneca-CayugaIndian tribe has created a tangleof regulatory confusion and uncertaintyamong state and federaldrug officials.
The pharmacy, which is locatedon tribal land near Grove, Okla,came to the attention of pharmacyregulators in Ohio when a prescriptionvial from the Indian pharmacywas found at the scene of a serioustraffic accident.
Oklahoma pharmacy board officialscontend that the tribe's pharmacyis being run by an unlicensedpharmacist and is distributing medicinewithout a valid state pharmacylicense. Because the operation is ontribal land, state regulators havebeen told that they have no authorityover the pharmacy.
Federal officials may have jurisdictionto challenge the tribe'spharmacy if the business is foundto be trafficking in narcotics orother dangerous drugs. Investigatorsfrom the US Drug EnforcementAdministration, however, turned upno evidence that prescriptions forfederally controlled substanceswere being dispensed.