N.C. Company Stops Offering Online Prescriptions for Cipro
Morrisville, N.C.-based VirtualMedicalGroup.com has stopped filling all online orders for the anthrax treatment Cipro, after "catching flak" from North Carolina public health officials, the Raleigh News & Observer reports (Ranii, Raleigh News & Observer, 11/10). Two weeks ago, the company stopped filling prescriptions for all North Carolina residents, a move prompted by a state investigation of physicians affiliated with the company who were allegedly prescribing Cipro for patients they never examined (California Healthline, 11/6). Last month, the state Department of Health and Human Services accused VirtualMedicalGroup of "preying on the public's fears" and said that "indiscriminate use" of antibiotics could lead to the development of drug-resistant bacteria. The state Medical Board's investigation has led to charges against three doctors affiliated with the company. According to Dale Breaden, a spokesperson for the medical board, VirtualMedicalGroup's decision to stop selling Cipro will not have an effect on the charges against the doctors. VirtualMedicalGroup CEO Tania Malik called the decision to voluntarily suspend Cipro prescriptions "an affirmative step to show our good faith and our cooperation," adding that the company is committed to "bring(ing) quality health care and quality standards to the Internet" (Raleigh News & Observer, 11/10).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.