Lorraine has discovered that Glenn has been shorting prescriptions. Lorraine and Glenn are both registered pharmacists. Glenn is Lorraine’s employer. Lorraine confronts Glenn with the shortages and he admits he has been doing it for an extended time. The Dilemma
Glenn attempts to justify his actions by explaining how it helps his pharmacy stay in business, decreases operating expenses and really does not hurt the patients. Glenn only shorts the pill counts on maintenance type medications. Since most people miss a pill every now and then and get refills before they run out it really is not a big deal, and no one is really hurt.
Glenn has violated veracity and fidelity. He has been intentionally dishonest in his actions. Fidelity is defined as the quality of being faithful or loyal. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/fidelity The Pharmacists Code of Ethics is based on moral obligations and virtues, established to guide pharmacists in relationships with patients, health professionals and society. It was adopted in October 1994 by the American Pharmacists Association. Section I : “consider the pharmacist-patient relationship as a covenant, means that a pharmacist has obligations in response to the gift of trust received from society.” Ethical Violations
Section IV: “A pharmacist acts with honesty and integrity in professional relationships. A pharmacist has a duty to tell the truth and to act with conviction of conscience.” www.uspharmd.com/pharmacist/Pharmacist_Oath_and_Code_of_Ethics.html Oath of a Pharmacist, paragraph 4, “I will maintain the highest principles of moral, ethical and legal conduct.” This is a sworn oath. www.uspharmd.com/pharmacist/Pharmacist_Oath_and_Code_of_Ethics.html
Glenn has also committed fraud. Fraud is defined in the broadest sense, as an intentional deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/fraud He admitted that he shorted the pills to help his private business, the pharmacy. This classifies as an intentional deception.
Pharmacy fraud has been discovered in many forms. Recycling and reusing pills that were returned from nursing homes and charging the whole price for a prescription that was only partially filled are two examples. Pharmacy fraud is extremely costly to individuals and the government. Interestingly much of pharmacy fraud is reported by whistle blowers within the profession. http://www.Pharmacyfraudwhisltleblowers.com
Lorraine can choose to remain silent about Glenn’s actions. She can recheck all the medications he fills and assure the patient receives the correct number of pills. She can probably do this for some time before Glenn realizes what is happening and confronts her about it and maybe even fires her. She would have done what she thought was best for the patients. She would have been attempting to protect Glenn as a pharmacist too. Lorraine’s Actions
Lorraine can choose to terminate her employment with Glenn and remain silent. This would cause potential harm to the patient’s Glenn serves. Lorraine can be confident and report Glenn to the Pharmacy Board. In reporting Glenn, Lorraine is acting in an ethical, moral manner. She is upholding the Pharmacist Code of Ethics and the Oath. She is also exhibiting veracity and beneficence towards her profession and her patients. She may still lose her job, but not her license.