While I can’t deny the sleaze factor of our next story, I’ve got to admire the entrepreneurial spirit therein. There is real adaptability in combining tech with a remarkable lack of ethics or even standards and applying it to the I-want-it-now retail mindset.
A nurse of (charitably) dubious qualification has used Google to establish a bunch of virtual urgent care clinics, none of which actually exist, in Arizona, and some of which are attached to a Georgia LLC. You can’t get in to be seen, but you can get texts back and forth from a “doctor”, who will call in prescriptions and bill you for a hefty “diagnosis fee.” Simple, right?
Of course, you aren’t actually seeing a physician, so the value of your prescriptions may vary from worthless to dangerous, with no chance for any useful follow-up evaluation if the initial throw misses.
The nurse in question is receiving scrutiny from the Arizona Board of Nursing for exceeding her authority. But I wonder, did she even write these scripts, or was her name and license merely used as a front by some other party, setting up short lifespan virtual clinics” with as much longevity and traceability as prepaid cell phones? Technology has moved fly-by-night pill dispensing from car trunks to low overhead, shadowy maps with the permanence of a mayfly. Google is supposedly hot on the algorithmic trail in removing fraudulent business listings, but is that really their fault?
I’m not outraged over the gypsy pill purveyors, nor do I care if a state nursing board collects a scalp. I have no sympathy for the board rep’s self-righteous statement, “If you don’t have the education to prescribe, you’re putting the public at risk.”
If someone bought a pair of hot speakers out of a van in a grocery store parking lot, would any of us feel sorry for them if they didn’t work? The same principle applies here: let the buyer beware.