PA Attorney General Mike Fisher Announces Online Prescription Drug Business Permanently Barred From Selling and Delivering Products to PA Consumers

Apr 03, 2001, 01:00 ET from Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General

    HARRISBURG, Pa., April 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Attorney General Mike Fisher
 today announced that a Louisiana-based online prescription drug business,
 pharmacy and their owner are permanently banned from advertising, selling and
 delivering prescription drugs to Pennsylvania residents.  The business has
 also agreed to refund the $50 "consultation fee" that Pennsylvania consumers
 were charged to order the drugs.
     "I'm pleased that this illegal and potentially dangerous online service is
 forever barred from advertising, selling and dispensing prescription drugs to
 Pennsylvanians," Fisher said.  "This practice posed a potential health hazard
 to consumers who were easily obtaining the drugs without proper medical
 history screening."
     Fisher said Commonwealth Court Senior Judge Jess S. Jiuliante approved the
 consent agreement between Fisher's Bureau of Consumer Protection and 4 Health
 Drugs, LLC, Pineville, La; At-Cost Drugs, Sterlington, La., and their owner,
 Dr. Henry Eugene Jones, Sterlington, La.  The consent agreement resolves a May
 2000 lawsuit against the defendants for allegedly violating Pennsylvania's
 Consumer Protection Law, Pharmacy Act and Medical Practices Act of 1985.
     According to the lawsuit, the defendants from December 1999 to May 2000
 sold Viagra, Propecia and Xenical to undercover Bureau of Consumer Protection
 investigators without obtaining a Pennsylvania medical license or pharmacy
 permit.  The drugs are typically prescribed to treat either impotency, hair
 loss or obesity.
     "Pennsylvania law requires that prescription drugs be dispensed to
 Pennsylvania consumers only by a state-licensed pharmacist or medical
 practitioner," Fisher said.  "A pharmacy must obtain a permit before operating
 or advertising in the Commonwealth.  In addition, a physician must be licensed
 in Pennsylvania to practice medicine in the state."
     The consent agreement requires the defendants to:
     -- Permanently halt the online advertising, promotion, sale, delivery or
        dispensing of prescription drugs to Pennsylvania consumers.
     -- Alert consumers that prescription drugs are not available to
        Pennsylvania consumers who visit their website.
     -- Return the $50 "consultation fee" to Pennsylvania consumers who
        purchased the drugs from December 1999 to May 2000.
     -- Pay $4,000 in civil penalties and $4,000 for investigation costs.
     -- Comply with Pennsylvania's Consumer Protection Law, Pharmacy Act and
        Medical Practices Act of 1985 in the future.
 
     Consumers who purchased prescription drugs from the defendants but have
 not received the $50 refund are asked to contact Fisher's Bureau of Consumer
 Protection Office at 1-800-441-2555.
     The consent agreement was filed in Commonwealth Court by Deputy Attorney
 General Marcia Telek-DePaula of Fisher's Bureau of Consumer Protection Office
 in Pittsburgh.
 
     CONTACT:  Barbara Petito, Deputy Press Secretary of the Pennsylvania
 Office of Attorney General, 717-787-5211.
 
 

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General
    HARRISBURG, Pa., April 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Attorney General Mike Fisher
 today announced that a Louisiana-based online prescription drug business,
 pharmacy and their owner are permanently banned from advertising, selling and
 delivering prescription drugs to Pennsylvania residents.  The business has
 also agreed to refund the $50 "consultation fee" that Pennsylvania consumers
 were charged to order the drugs.
     "I'm pleased that this illegal and potentially dangerous online service is
 forever barred from advertising, selling and dispensing prescription drugs to
 Pennsylvanians," Fisher said.  "This practice posed a potential health hazard
 to consumers who were easily obtaining the drugs without proper medical
 history screening."
     Fisher said Commonwealth Court Senior Judge Jess S. Jiuliante approved the
 consent agreement between Fisher's Bureau of Consumer Protection and 4 Health
 Drugs, LLC, Pineville, La; At-Cost Drugs, Sterlington, La., and their owner,
 Dr. Henry Eugene Jones, Sterlington, La.  The consent agreement resolves a May
 2000 lawsuit against the defendants for allegedly violating Pennsylvania's
 Consumer Protection Law, Pharmacy Act and Medical Practices Act of 1985.
     According to the lawsuit, the defendants from December 1999 to May 2000
 sold Viagra, Propecia and Xenical to undercover Bureau of Consumer Protection
 investigators without obtaining a Pennsylvania medical license or pharmacy
 permit.  The drugs are typically prescribed to treat either impotency, hair
 loss or obesity.
     "Pennsylvania law requires that prescription drugs be dispensed to
 Pennsylvania consumers only by a state-licensed pharmacist or medical
 practitioner," Fisher said.  "A pharmacy must obtain a permit before operating
 or advertising in the Commonwealth.  In addition, a physician must be licensed
 in Pennsylvania to practice medicine in the state."
     The consent agreement requires the defendants to:
     -- Permanently halt the online advertising, promotion, sale, delivery or
        dispensing of prescription drugs to Pennsylvania consumers.
     -- Alert consumers that prescription drugs are not available to
        Pennsylvania consumers who visit their website.
     -- Return the $50 "consultation fee" to Pennsylvania consumers who
        purchased the drugs from December 1999 to May 2000.
     -- Pay $4,000 in civil penalties and $4,000 for investigation costs.
     -- Comply with Pennsylvania's Consumer Protection Law, Pharmacy Act and
        Medical Practices Act of 1985 in the future.
 
     Consumers who purchased prescription drugs from the defendants but have
 not received the $50 refund are asked to contact Fisher's Bureau of Consumer
 Protection Office at 1-800-441-2555.
     The consent agreement was filed in Commonwealth Court by Deputy Attorney
 General Marcia Telek-DePaula of Fisher's Bureau of Consumer Protection Office
 in Pittsburgh.
 
     CONTACT:  Barbara Petito, Deputy Press Secretary of the Pennsylvania
 Office of Attorney General, 717-787-5211.
 
 SOURCE  Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General