can a remote consultation MD prescribe a drug that has not been approved by the FDA?
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For those who'd like to get an online pharmacy consultation, the process is usually easy. Generally, the consumer need only research and find pharmacies that prescribe medications online, clicking a link to begin the process. The consumer may then complete an online form, answering questions a doctor would normally ask before prescribing medication. The online form may be the extent of the consultation, or the patient may chat with a doctor online or by phone.
When a consumer seeks to get an online pharmacy consultation, an online doctor, also called a remote doctor, will evaluate his needs. Remote physicians are usually licensed, but do not meet with the online pharmacy’s customers in person. Instead, these physicians may create a list of questions to use in screening patients and evaluating their prescription medication needs. The answers to these questions may provide the Internet doctor with a medical history of the patient as well as details about the patient’s current medical condition and needs.
With some online pharmacies, a customer may simply visit the Web site to get an online pharmacy consultation, starting the process by completing the online medical questionnaire. In some cases, that questionnaire is the extent of the prescription consultation, at least from the consumer's end. The physician may then review the patient’s answers and prescribe medications as needed. When an online pharmacy operates this way, the remote physician may only contact the patient, by phone or via email, if he has further questions.
At some other online pharmacies, a patient must visit the pharmacy Web site and click a link to get an online pharmacy consultation by scheduling a phone consult. In this case, scheduling a consult may work similarly to making an appointment with a brick-and-mortar doctor. The patient selects a time to meet with the doctor by phone and discuss his medical needs. In some cases, a pharmacy may even use online chat or remote meeting technology for consultations. A pharmacy may ask its customers to complete a medical questionnaire in addition to scheduling a telephone or online conversation with a doctor.
Fees for having an online pharmacy consultation may vary. Some pharmacies charge a fee for this service, which may be close to the cost of an in-person doctor’s visit in some cases. Others may combine the cost of the consultation with the cost of the prescription medication. There are even some online pharmacies that offer free prescription consultations. Shipping costs may vary as well, depending on the pharmacy. There are those that charge and others that offer free shipping.
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