MPs urge ban on internet drugs after suicide
15 March 2005, AMSTERDAM — The Dutch Parliament wants to ban the supply of prescription medicine via internet websites following the recent overdose death of a depressive 44-year-old woman.
15 March 2005
AMSTERDAM — The Dutch Parliament wants to ban the supply of prescription medicine via internet websites following the recent overdose death of a depressive 44-year-old woman.
A majority of Lower House MPs will now ask Health Minister Hans Hoogervorst to ban internet prescriptions, RTL News reported.
Liberal VVD MP Schippers told television programme Nova on Monday night that the Gelderland woman committed suicide after obtaining the medicine from www.dokteronline.com.
The doctor prescribed the painkiller Depronal, which is regulated under the Dutch opium law. He had no personal contact with the woman, who had tried on previous occasions to commit suicide.
The drug is rarely prescribed in the Netherlands because it can be easily used to commit suicide.
The doctor in question, identified only as "Dr Verhorst", claims that he did not breach regulations and has dismissed concerns about internet prescriptions, news service NOS reported.
"Online consulting has restrictions. Patients that request something are conscious of this. In general, I assume that people are speaking the truth in an internet consultation," he said.
Business partner Maarten Jan Reijnders told newspaper De Volkskrant in June 2004 that the website offers health products such as vitamins and common medicines. Remedies for "shame ailments" such as baldness, acne, weight problems, anti-conception and erection problems are also distributed.
"We don't make a diagnosis. We focus on the self-aware patient who does not want to wait for long periods for a doctor and pharmacist and the patient who does not want to or does not dare to discuss erection problems with their doctor," he said.
"We have had discussions with the inspectorate and doctors organisations. Everything goes according to the rules."
But the Healthcare Inspectorate later asked Verhorst at the end of last year to suspend his activities. Two other doctors from other websites were also ordered to shut their websites down.
The inspectorate has now launched disciplinary proceedings against dokteronline.com. The site is no longer prescribing medicine.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Dutch news