NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A former Norfolk physician has been sentenced for his role in a long-running internet pharmacy operation.
A U.S. District judge sentenced 48-year-old Lawrence B. Ryan to 10 months’ incarceration and ordered him to forfeit $316,153, which constitutes the proceeds from the offense.
Ryan pleaded guilty in January to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and to introduce misbranded drugs into interstate commerce.
As part of his guilty plea, Ryan admitted that from October 2007 to September 2010, he approved more than 158,000 online drug orders for RX Limited, an international Internet pharmacy organization that sold prescription drugs without valid prescriptions to consumers in the United States.
Ryan admitted that the drugs included Fioricet (which contains butalbital, a barbiturate that is a controlled substance), carisoprodol (Soma), and tramadol (Ultram).
RX Limited sent Ryan drug orders for approval as a participating physician.
These drugs were sold to customers without a valid prescription because there was no legitimate doctor-patient relationship between Ryan and the customers. Specifically, there was no face-to-face contact, no physical examination, no taking of patient histories, and no checking of the accuracy of information provided by the customers, including qualifying medical conditions.
The drugs sold were therefore mis-branded because they were introduced into interstate commerce without valid prescriptions.
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