Local News

N.C. Doctor Charged With Prescribing Cipro Over The Internet

Posted October 29, 2001 7:36 a.m. EST

— Cipro is the drug being used to treat


. A doctor who prescribed the drug through a Triangle-based Internet company now faces charges from the

North Carolina Medical Board


Last week, the N.C. Medical Board told WRAL that it would bring charges against doctors who write prescriptions for Cipro over the Internet. On Monday, it did just that.

The state medical board has charged Dr. Michael Reiff Ross with writing Cipro prescriptions for patients he has never seen.

It says that prescriptions for Cipro were written by Ross over the Internet by way of Morrisville-based Virtual Medical Group.

"In layman's terms, we think he's engaged in practice that falls below minimum medical standards, writing prescriptions for people he's never examined," says Andrew Watry of the North Carolina Medical Board.

Ross has a North Carolina medical license, but has a South Carolina address. According to reports, Ross practiced at the Myrtle Beach Medical Center for about one month, then left there last week.

From there, Ross went to Lincoln, Neb. and applied for a temporary medical license which was issued on Monday, Oct. 29. On the same day, the doctor's name appeared in the Wall Street Journal with the story of the charges lodged against him in North Carolina.

Other medical boards are watching what happens in North Carolina. It may be a precedent-setting case when it comes to doctors writing prescriptions over the Internet


the Internet companies that facilitate it.

"Of course, they have a defense, and I respect that. Of course, we're going to have a prosecution case and we'll let the chips fall where they may in a public hearing," says Watry.

The N.C. Medical Board says that it plans on filing charges against other doctors as well.

Nebraska's medical board says that it has no plans to suspend the temporary medical license it issued to Ross on Monday.

Virtual Medical Group says that it disagrees with the medical board's position, but has offered to cooperate.

WRAL's attempts to reach Ross were unsuccessful.