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DOT Rule 49 CFR Part 40 Section 40.141 Q&A

40.141                                                                       07/06

QUESTION:

Is a Medical Review Officer (MRO) permitted to accept an employee’s prescription for medication obtained over the Internet?

ANSWER:

• An MRO is authorized to accept an employee’s prescription for medication obtained over the Internet only if there is proof that a legitimate doctor-patient relationship had been established.

• The following four elements generally serve as an indication that a legitimate doctor-patient relationship has been established:

-- A patient has a medical complaint;

-- A medical history has been taken;

-- A physical examination has been performed; and

-- Some logical connection exists between the complaint, the medical history, the physical examination, and the drug prescribed.

• Standing alone, the completion of an online questionnaire reviewed later by a pharmacy-employed doctor fails to establish a proper doctor-patient relationship.

• The MRO should, at a minimum, consider the following items when verifying the test result:

-- The name, physical location, and state(s) of licensure of the prescribing practitioner;

-- Whether the employee was professionally evaluated for the current medical complaint by the prescribing practitioner, and the last time the employeewas in direct contact with the prescribing practitioner;

-- Whether the employee initiated the request to the pharmacy for a particular medication; and

-- Whether a proper doctor-patient relationship existed.

• It is the employee’s responsibility to provide sufficient documentation to address MRO inquiries as to whether there was a legitimate doctor-patient relationship.

Updated: Friday, October 26, 2012