How Can I Get a Prescription Online?
What is online prescribing?
Traditionally, in order to obtain prescription drugs in the United States, a patient would first need to be physically examined by a physician or other licensed practitioner. Online prescribing describes the action of doctors writing prescriptions for patients based on remote, online-only consultations.
What are the rules for online prescriptions?
The Ryan Haight Act, enacted in 2008, is the most significant piece of legislation which regulates online prescriptions in the U.S. This law prohibits telemedicine providers such as telepsychiatrists from prescribing controlled substances--and other drugs with a potential for abuse--without first performing an in-person exam on the patient. There are a few exceptions to this law, such as when a patient's primary care physician is unavailable, and another physician reviews the patient's records and renews the patient's prescription online; or, when the patient is physically located within a hospital or clinic but the consultation with the prescribing doctor takes place remotely.
All doctors who issue prescriptions to a given patient must be licensed by the medical board of the patient's state. Pharmacies must also be licensed within the patient's state, and they can only fill a prescription if they have a verified doctor's signature proving that the prescription is valid. Generally, this means that the prescribing doctor must have an established relationship with the patient. However, advances in telemedicine technology have made it possible for doctors to perform sufficient examinations virtually in many cases, such as cold and flu symptoms, allergies, and skin conditions. In a pinch, the patient-doctor "relationship" can now be established rapidly, enabling patients to obtain prescription drugs quickly and conveniently online.
What does the future of online prescribing look like?
Over time, the increasing proportion of medical consultations take place online will likely lead to a similar increase in online prescriptions. The telehealth industry has grown exponentially over the past decade and is predicted to grow by at least 13% annually until 2025. Patients are warming up to the idea of telehealth consultations, and doctors are growing more comfortable and experienced in writing online prescriptions. Organizations such as the American Telemedicine Association have lobbied the DEA for changes to the Ryan Haight Act which would broaden the scope of telemedicine by allowing certain controlled substances to be prescribed online. CMS recently expanded Medicare reimbursements for telehealth services.
SAMI-Aid provides easy and affordable access to a wide range of telemedicine services, including urgent care, primary care, pediatrics, and behavioral health therapy. Next time you have a common ailment for which you would normally visit urgent care or your primary care doctor, try giving SAMI-Aid a call.
What types of medications do SAMI-Aid's doctors commonly prescribe online?
The most common types of medications prescribed by SAMI-Aid's online doctors include:
- Allergy medications
- Oral contraceptives
- Decongestant nasal sprays
- High blood pressure medications
- Cholesterol-lowering drugs
What types of medications are SAMI-Aid's doctors not allowed to prescribe online?
SAMI-Aid's doctors will not issue online prescriptions for the following types of medications for any reason:
- Hair loss medications
- Erectile dysfunction medications
- Sleeping pills
- Medical marijuana
- Any DEA-controlled medications
Are online prescriptions safe?
According to the Journal of Urgent Care Medicine, online prescriptions are likely doing more good than harm: Improved access and lower costs are saving some patients' lives. However, some health experts are skeptical, contending that telemedicine encourages doctors to over-prescribe certain medications such as antibiotics. To alleviate any such risks, SAMI-Aid recommends accepting online prescriptions only from thoroughly vetted doctors who have earned your trust.
Creating a SAMI-Aid account is free, and speaking to our doctor costs only $54.99! With SAMI-Aid, you can skip the waiting room, speak to a doctor, and have any online prescriptions sent to your preferred local pharmacy, all within a matter of minutes.