ONLINE Rx AN ISSUE IN STEROID HEARINGS

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

The recent focus on the use ofsteroids and human growth hormonesby major league baseballplayers has once again put thespotlight on the role of Internetpharmacies in distributing thesesubstances.

The report by former US SenGeorge Mitchell, released inDecember following his investigation into the illegal use of performance-enhancing substances in baseball, underscores thethreat posed by sales of these substances over the Internet.

The Mitchell report highlights 2 methods for illegal distribution:one, whereby the Internet is used "instead of gym locker rooms orstreet corners as a semi-anonymous marketplace for drug transactions."The other method, the report notes, "involves rejuvenationcenters that troll the Internet for customers, corrupt physicianswho write prescriptions for patients they have not seen, andcompounding pharmacies that fill these dubious prescriptions anddeliver performance-enhancing substances to end users by mail."

Major League Baseball Commissioner Allan H. Selig hasexpressed support for bills pending in Congress to combat theproblem, including anticrime legislation sponsored by Sen JosephBiden (D, DE), that incorporates the online pharmacy safeguardsincluded in a bill sponsored by Sen Dianne Feinstein (D, CA) andapproved by the Senate Judiciary Committee in September(S 980).