What Would You Do? – February 15, 2016

Scenario: M.D. the pharmacy intern was working at a retail pharmacy when a customer came to pick up his Oxycodone prescription. M.D. asked for a driver’s license to use as identification and quickly noticed it was expired. M.D. explained that he could not provide the medication without a valid ID. The customer was furious and explained he was a doctor, he belittled the intern, and demanded the medication.

If you were in this situation, “What Would YOU Do?”

Resolution: The intern asked if the patient would like to speak to the pharmacist. After the pharmacist confirmed the doctor’s DEA number he agreed to fill the medication this one time using this alternate method of identification. The pharmacist informed the patient that it was against the store policy to dispense this medication without valid identification and explained that the next time the medication was dispensed, a valid photo ID would be required. Would you have dispensed the medication? What if the patient wasn’t a doctor?

Take-away: Soon we will be the pharmacist in charge and interns will turn to us to make these ethical situations. Pharmacy has many gray areas and it is up to us to distinguish between the law, a store policy, and the patient’s best interest.