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These cases suggest that while the absence of a treatment relationship is likely to protect physician-developers from tort liability when consumers are injured, the absence of a treatment relationship may expose physician- developers to disciplinary action. 102 In Jones v. North Dakota State Board of Medical Examiners-Investigative Panel B, Dr. Jones worked for an online prescription service, providing prescriptions for non-narcotic medications (mostly erectile dysfunction drugs)to individuals whofilledout the company’s onlinesurvey. 103 Dr. Jones reviewed the survey responses and occasionally operators made personal calls for further information. 104 The State Board revoked the physician’s license for writing prescriptions without establishing a physician-patient relationship and Dr. Jones appealed, arguing he did not violate the state medical statute. 105 The court agreed with the board’s findings, that writing approximately seventy-two prescriptions per hour madeit impossible for him to spend sufficient time evaluating a patient’s medical needs to establish a physician-patient relationship. 106 Similarly, in Golob v. Arizona Medical Board, the Arizona Medical Board censured and put Dr. Golob on probation for providing prescriptions to individuals through an online prescription service without forming a physician-patient relationship. 107 Individuals filled out an online form and paid a fee for the questionnaire to be reviewed by the physician. 108 In some cases, the individuals would answer questions over the phone, but operators working for the company, rather than the physician, would ask the questions. 109 Dr. Golob purportedly “directed” the operators to ask the questions, forming the alleged basis for the suspension. 110 The court upheld the board’s decision, finding that these acts did not establish a physician- patient relationship. 111 These cases suggest that in an analogous situation, developer-physicians
NEWS (Jun. 1, 2015), http://www.mhealthnews.com/news/federal-judge-sides-teladoc-texas- telemedicine-debate. 102. See Jones, 2005 ND, 22 at ¶¶ 21-22, 691 N. W.2d at 259 (finding that Jones acted unethically and provided inappropriate, harmful prescriptions over the Internet without examining patients in person first); see also Golob, 176 P.3d at 705(finding that the board could discipline a physician that failed to establish a physician-patient relationship with his patients). 103. Jones, 2005 ND 22 at ¶ 3, 691 N. W.2d at 253-54. 104. Id. at ¶ 3, 691 N. W.2d at 253-54. 105. Id. at ¶¶ 58 & 16, 691 N. W.2d at 254-255, 257. 106. Id. at ¶¶ 20-22, 691 N. W.2d at 258. 107. Golob v. Ariz. Med. Bd., 176 P.3d 703, 705 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2008). 108. Id. at 706. 109. Id. at 708. 110. Id. 111. Id. at 709.