As has been widely reported, the Idaho Board of Medicine recently sanctioned a physician for prescribing a common antibiotic over the phone without a prior examination or established patient relationship. This short alert will, hopefully, clear up some of the misunderstanding caused by the media reports.
General Prohibition. Idaho Code § 54-1733 states:
a prescription drug order for a legend drug is not valid unless it is issued for a legitimate medical purpose arising from a prescriber-patient relationship which includes a documented patient evaluation adequate to establish diagnoses and identify underlying conditions and/or contraindications to the treatment. Treatment, including issuing a prescription drug order, based solely on an online questionnaire or consultation outside of an ongoing clinical relationship does not constitute a legitimate medical purpose.
(Idaho Code § 54-1733(1)). As in other states, the Idaho statute was passed to address standard of care concerns resulting from internet pharmacies and “tel-a-doctor” companies. A violation of the statute constitutes unprofessional conduct which may subject the practitioner to adverse licensure action. (Id. at § 54-1733(5)). Continue reading