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Date Posted: 13:56:58 02/02/14 Sun
Author: Robert Baer
Subject: Re: Doctor surrenders license in online Viagra probe

The suspension of Dr. Breite’s license in Vermont was a travesty. After retiring, he worked briefly with a company selling medications online—what is now a massive industry. Unlike many others, he never prescribed any narcotics or other potentially dangerous drugs. His sole offense was prescribing three Viagra pills to an individual who complained of the appropriate symptoms. Had the same person sat in his office and described the very same symptoms, the exact same prescription would have been given.
Records of Dr. Breite’s transactions revealed that in the short time he was with this company, he was also working hard to curb the abuses of online prescriptions. The prosecution recognized this and declined to charge him. Others from the same company were charged and they were all acquitted by a jury. Once it became clear that Dr. Breite had done nothing to warrant any action against him, the Vermont Medical Board should have reviewed his case and reinstated his license. Instead, articles like this continue to besmirch a man whose reputation for integrity was unassailable.
Dr. Breite died recently after suffering a stroke brought on by high blood pressure. As a friend, I strongly believe that this unjustified witch-hunt against him played a role in his death. He was a Holocaust survivor, who was later decorated in the U.S. military and spent decades saving lives as an emergency room physician. Hundreds of friends, all grateful to have known him, packed his funeral service. His extraordinary life was so much more than the tawdry headline in this article and I find it shameful that we live in a world where a simple internet search can instantly generate such disgraceful distortions of the character of a truly wonderful man.

Doctor surrenders license in online Viagra probe
>
>August 15, 2003
>
>
>A New Jersey doctor has had his Vermont medical
>license suspended for five months after he was accused
>of prescribing Viagra online to a patient he had never
>met.
>The Vermont Medical Practice Board is forwarding Dr.
>Herbert Breite's disciplinary documents to officials
>in Pennsylvania where Breite is also licensed to
>practice.
>
>
>"My sense from talking to his attorney is that he is
>out of business," said Assistant Attorney General
>James Arisman, who prosecuted the case before the
>Medical Practice Board.
>
>
>Officials are calling the case a victory in the
>nationwide fight against inappropriate Internet drug
>sales.
>
>
>"Probably everyone has heard stories about people
>being prescribed something they shouldn't be taking,"
>Arisman said. "It's really a national problem."
>
>
>The case against Breite began March 4 when James
>Rawson, an investigator for the national federation of
>medical boards, answered an Internet solicitation for
>the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra.
>
>
>Two days after completing an online questionnaire, and
>providing his credit card number for a $115 charge,
>Rawson received a Federal Express package with three
>Viagra tablets, state documents say.
>
>
>Rawson was not examined, did not speak with a doctor
>and was not informed of the drug's potentially
>dangerous side effects, documents say. Those risks
>include angina, headache, vision problems, painful
>urination, chest pain and fainting.
>
>
>The drug also interacts with other medications, and is
>not appropriate for people with heart disease or blood
>pressure problems, state documents say.
>
>
>The tablets came in a vial that identified the
>prescribing physician as Breite. He obtained a Vermont
>license in 1974 but has never practiced in the state,
>medical board documents say.
>
>
>He prescribed from his home in New Jersey, where he is
>not licensed, state documents say. Breite does not
>keep patient records at any location, making patient
>follow-up impossible, Vermont investigator Philip
>Ciotti said in board documents.
>
>
>"At no time ... has Dr. Breite contacted me via
>telephone, e-mail or any other electronic manner, or
>mail," Rawson wrote in his May 29 investigative report.
>
>
>The American Medical Association established in 2002
>that a physician who prescribes drugs based solely on
>an online questionnaire is "failing to meet minimum
>standards of medical care."
>
>
>The Vermont Medical Practice Board suspended Breite's
>license June 2 on the basis that he allegedly provided
>substandard care.
>
>
>Breite's license surrender document, a negotiated
>settlement with state regulators signed Aug. 4, says
>"he has permanently retired from any and all practice
>of medicine." There was no answer at Breite's office
>phone Thursday.
>
>
>Breite's Pennsylvania license is presently designated
>as "active-retired."
>
>
>Vermont does not have laws and regulations regarding
>Internet prescribing. Twenty-eight states do. The
>disparity, Arisman said, creates "an enforcement
>problem. ... While one of the states takes action
>against them, they can still practice in other places."

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