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New HCG Clinic Opens in South Pasadena, CA – TrimYou Certified

July 15, 2009

Another TrimYou Certified HCG Clinic has just opened in the Los Angeles area.  Biologica is the latest TrimYou-Certified HCG weight loss clinic.  You can find their information here:

California HCG Doctors

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HCG Diet in Texas – TrimYou Certified Clinic Added in Houston, TX

July 14, 2009

TrimYou has certified another clinic, this one in Houston, TX.

You can find their information at:

HCG Diet in Texas

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New TrimYou Certified HCG Weight Loss Clinic in Oklahoma City

May 22, 2009

A new TrimYou Certified HCG Weight Loss Center has just opened in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  Currently, there is no website, but you can view all of their contact info at:

Dr. Marie Carter

HCG Laws – Are Online HCG Clinics Legal?

February 5, 2009

The question of whether online medical weight loss clinics offering HCG are operating within the parameters of the law often comes up.  Do HCG Laws permit or forbid this practice?

If you have an email account, you most likely have received SPAM emails offering prescription medications from various sources.

Since HCG is a prescription drug, is it legal to sell it online?  What about an HCG weight loss clinic that will prescribe HCG sight-unseen?  Is completing an online ‘medical history form’ enough to write a valid, legal prescription for hCG?

From the FDA.gov website:

“Some Websites offer to prescribe medication
based only on a questionnaire. Is this a safe practice? Is it legal?

Unlike the traditional relationship between a patient and the patient’s
health care professional, some online practitioners issue prescriptions in
the absence of a physical examination or direct medical supervision. According
to the American Medical Association, a health care professional who offers
a prescription for a patient the practitioner has never seen before and based
solely on an online questionnaire generally has not met the appropriate medical
standard of care. As a result, patients may receive a drug that is inappropriate
for them to use and may sacrifice the opportunity for a correct diagnosis
or the identification of an underlying medical condition for which use of
the prescription drug may be dangerous.

It is a violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to dispense
prescription drugs without a valid prescription. FDA will work with the states
to determine the validity of online prescriptions and to bring enforcement
actions under state law, federal law, or both, as appropriate. In addition,
several state boards of medicine have ruled that such practice is medical
misconduct and have fined and suspended the licenses of health care practitioners
who have prescribed drugs in this manner.”

So what does that mean?

The Government has a 3 part argument:

1) Under federal and state law, for a doctor to be acting in the usual
course of professional practice
, there must be a bona fide
doctor/patient relationship

2) Completing a questionnaire that is then reviewed by a doctor hired
by the Internet Pharmacy could not be considered the basis for a
doctor/patient relationship

3) A prescription based on an online questionnaire is not valid.

Even though this seems cut-and-dry, the fact is the DEA doesn’t have the authority to determine medical standards.

This has left the practice of online prescribing difficult to enforce on the Federal level, and now State Laws are being used to make the case that online prescribing violates Federal Law (namely, the Controlled Substances Act).

Based on the theory that since numerous States prohibit online prescribing, and a violation of State Law violates the ‘Usual Course‘ provisions of the Controlled Substances Act, this means the online prescription isn’t valid.

HOWEVER, this theory has the problem that except for Nevada and Virginia (at the time of this writing), no State says an online prescription is invalid.

Instead, there are around 28 States that address the problem by the State Medical Board calling it ‘unprofessional conduct’, which could result in disciplinary action including stiff fines, penalties or loss of medical license.

Until the laws are clarified regarding whether an ‘online encounter’ is a “sufficient examination” and “establishment of a valid physician/patient relationship”, enforcing current laws are difficult.

There are currently around 20 States that do not have provisions for enforcing ‘unprofessional conduct’.

Things are tightening up from State to State, so any existing States that are lax will probably adopt the model of other States that DO have provisions to enforce these requirements of “sufficient examination” and “establishment of a valid physician/patient relationship”.

This much is clear: the government does not like online prescribing and is doing what it can to prosecute it.

Even the “careful” distributors of online prescriptions often have problems
in their business models, such as selling to minors or having a
single doctor review hundreds or thousands of ‘online questionnaires’ per
day.

It is easy for the government to argue that
the prescription fails the basic standards of medical care and
therefore the distribution violated the Controlled Substances Act in these cases.

If an online HCG clinic is offering to prescribe HCG without a physical examination (a face-to-face encounter), then either the doctor writing the prescription is in violation of the State’s Medical Board regulations, or is operating in a State that currently hasn’t addressed the issue or could be in violation of Federal Law.

Whether it’s HCG or another prescription drug, the Federal Government is making inroads to prohibit the practice any way it can.

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