Monday, March 14, 2011

Presciption only Medicines

Photo Courtesy of Linda Bartlett and  National Institutes of Health

If you are a Pinoy Pharmacist who happened to be on duty by the time a customer walks in the store and ask for a medicine which needs a prescription, will you dispense it to the customer or not?

Some will dispense the medication asked for, even if without prescription. But we all know that it is not proper to hand over a drug to a customer without the correct prescription. Have we forgotten the rules? We, among other health professionals, should know this. Medicines have many beneficial effects but they also have side effects and even toxic effects. Remember that what matters most is the health of the person, not the pharmacy’s sales.

What can you tell the customers in this scenario? Simply tell them that you cannot give them what they need until they provide you with a valid prescription. I’m sure they will argue with you but be firm with your decision. Anyway, it is not your decision, it is the rule. Explain to them the disadvantages of taking the medicine without proper diagnosis.  

What if they tell you, they left it at home promise to bring the prescription back just give them their medicines first? Come on, do you believe that? That is a very lame excuse that we should not consider. If you allow it the first time, they will do it again.

If they ask for your manager, let them talk to your manager but make sure you and your manager are in the same page. I remember a familiar case way back when I was working in a popular pharmacy. An angry customer asked for the manager because the pharmacy assistant did not dispense the medicine he needed. So the manager went out and talked to the customer. Guess what the manager did? Oh yes, he dispensed the medicine. He was not even a pharmacist. I bet, he was just scared of the customer and wanted to get out of the scene immediately.

What I am trying to point is whether you are the pharmacy owner, the pharmacist or the pharmacy assistant, stick to the rule together. Prescription only medicines need the prescription.

What is your stand on this? Do you have a similar experience as mine?

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