YAFI Online Programming //Law Related to Pharmacy Practice


Prescription for Murder

Educational Objectives

After participating in this activity, pharmacists will be able to:

  • Discuss the kinds of behaviors by health care practitioners that can lead to criminal charges
  • Describe the potential legal and regulatory outcomes of reckless prescribing
  • Identify the "red flags" that should cause a pharmacist or pharmacy technician to question a prescription's legitimacy
  • Discuss the positive and negative consequences of increased scrutiny of aberrant prescribing habits

Session Offered

Release Date: December 15, 2019

Expiration Date: December 15, 2022

Course Fee

$7 for pharmacists

$4 for technicians

Session Codes

19YC75-JMT49 Pharmacist

19YC75-KVE34 Pharmacy Technician

Accreditation Hours

2.0 hours of CE


When health care practitioners demonstrate substandard behavior, they can be penalized by license suspension, loss of a license or certification, or paying damages in a law suit. However, their behavior can also lead to criminal charges and more severe penalties including incarceration. This continuing education activity provides examples of indifferent behavior by pharmacists that has resulted in legal jeopardy. It also describes the increasing scrutiny and occurrence of criminal charges, including murder, being brought against health care practitioners for excessive or reckless prescribing and dispensing of controlled substances. It reminds pharmacy staff members of their obligations to prevent abuse and overdose.

Accreditation Statements

The University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education.

Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are eligible to participate in this application-based activity and will receive up to 0.2 CEU (2 contact hours) for completing the activity, passing the quiz with a grade of 70% or better, and completing an online evaluation. Statements of credit are available via the CPE Monitor on- line system and your participation will be recorded with CPE Monitor within 72 hours of submission

0009-0000-19-061-H03-P 0

Grant funding: None

Cost: $7 for pharmacists $4 for technicians

Initial Release Date: December 15, 2019
Expiration Date: December 15, 2022

To obtain CPE credit, visit the UConn Online CE Center

Use your NABP E-profile ID and the session code 19YC75-JMT49 for pharmacists or 19YC75-KVE34 for pharmacy technicians to access the online quiz and evaluation.

First- time users must pre-register in the Online CE Center. Test results will be displayed immediately and your participation will be recorded with CPE Mon- itor within 72 hours of completing the requirements.

For questions concerning the online CPE activities, email joanne.nault@uconn.edu


Gerald Gianutsos, Ph.D., J.D., R.Ph., is an Emeritus Associate Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Connecticut, School of Pharmacy.

Faculty Disclosure

Dr. Gianutsos has no actual or potential conflicts of interest associated with this article.

Disclosure of Discussions of Off-label and Investigational Drug Use

This activity may contain discussion of off label/unapproved use of drugs. The content and views presented in this educational program are those of the faculty and do not necessarily represent those of the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy. Please refer to the official prescribing information for each product for discussion of approved indications, contraindications, and warnings.



Pharmacists and technicians are well aware that misconduct and mistakes in the pharmacy can bring about serious consequences and potential penalties. The most familiar repercussions from misdeeds by pharmacists result in cases of civil liability (e.g., a malpractice suit). If found liable, pharmacists will have to pay monetary damages to the injured party, and/or face imposition of sanctions by a regulatory board which could lead to suspension or forfeiture of their license or a fine. However, health care professionals are increasingly facing the threat of criminal charges for various transgressions. Tougher penalties may include incarceration. This continuing education activity examines some recent instances of health care professionals who have been accused, and in some cases, convicted of criminal behavior for their actions.


Full List of References

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