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The Pharmacist's Challenge


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The challenge for pharmacists is how to protect themselves from dispensing illegitimate prescriptions without interfering in the patient-doctor treatment plan.

Published in: Health & Medicine
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The Pharmacist's Challenge

  1. 1. The Pharmacist’s Challenge Caught in the Middle:
  2. 2. The Main Challenge: Attention is focused on the misuse and abuse of prescription narcotics A pharmacy becomes involved because they became the unwitting dispenser of illegitimate prescriptions Pharmacist has a responsibility to the patient, but doesn’t want to interfere with the doctor-patient treatment plan
  3. 3. Overcome These Challenges: • Visit and review state regulations, and information on the DEA’s Office of Diversion Control website • Consider some of these suggestions…
  4. 4. Understanding the Practitioners Responsibilities Practitioners have the responsibility to ask the “right questions” to ensure pharmacists are not unwittingly involved in dispensing illegitimate prescriptions. • Was there a legitimate diagnosis to warrant the prescription? • Was a sufficient physical exam conducted? • Was the patient’s opioid tolerance examined? • Are high or frequent quantities being prescribed?
  5. 5. The Patient Relationship Although a pharmacist may not have access to this information: • They should conduct a patient and prescriber profile • They should ask the patient if their doctor tested their opioid tolerance These actions demonstrate due diligence and help reduce the risk of abuse, and help protect you registration.
  6. 6. Things To Look For With Patient Prescriptions • Review the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) • Avoid filling opioid prescriptions when the customer pays in cash • Monitor the customer’s frequency • For patients with insurance that doesn’t cover the RX, verify with the insurance provider and note the discussion on the back of the prescription
  7. 7. Some pharmacists are uncomfortable questioning a physician, but as a professional and critical gatekeeper to the nation’s drug supply, pharmacists must make efforts to ensure they are not aiding drug diversion.
  8. 8. When noticing a pattern of suspicious prescriptions, consider these questions: What is the prescriber’s medical education and training? What is the prescriber’s “field of medicine”? Does it seem appropriate to be prescribing opioids? What are the prescriber’s “board” and “sub- board” certifications? Has the prescriber been sanctioned by the State or Federal Medicare Program? Have the state or federal agencies taken action against the prescriber due to questionable prescription practices?
  9. 9. Helpful Tools: The best course of action to protect your registration and your reputation, is to employ the steps suggested in this PowerPoint* and to ensure your pharmacy operates with the policy that promotes the wellness of your customers. * This PowerPoint is not a guarantee for DEA compliance, nor is it associated with the DEA federal agency.
  10. 10. To learn more or to discuss specific areas of concern: Call the experts at The Pharma Compliance Group or e-SupplyLink • • • 1.855.7.PHARMA • • • 1.231.933.7212 Material adapted from “The Pharmacist’s Challenge” eBook by the Pharma Compliance Group.