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More Websites Offer Unfettered Prescription Drug Sales, CASA Says

JoinTogether.com, July 14, 2006

A recent snapshot report found 185 websites selling prescription drugs, the highest number in the three-year history of the research project, and noted that 89 percent of the sites did not require a prescription to purchase controlled substances.

The "You've Got Drugs" White Paper released last month by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University found that 30 percent of the sites that didn't require prescriptions boasted of that fact, while 60 percent offered "online consultations" and 10 percent did not mention prescriptions at all.

Even those sites that require a prescription often allow customers to fax a scrip in, a practice that is open to forgery or illegally using the same prescription to make multiple purchases.

Available drugs for sale included Vicodin, OxyContin, Xanax, Librium, Valium, Adderall, and Ritalin. "Any child can get, without a prescription, highly addictive controlled substances like OxyContin, Valium and Ritalin from Internet drug pushers," said CASA chairman and president Joseph A. Califano, Jr.

"Despite three years of CASA reports, Congressional hearings, and increased attention in the press to the abuse of controlled prescription drugs, these drugs continue to be as easy to buy over the Internet as candy," said researcher Bo Dietl.

Only two of the 185 sites found by researchers were certified by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.

The same report found 157 prescription-drug websites in 2004; the research was conducted for CASA by Beau Dietl & Associates.