What Would You Do? – March 15, 2016

Scenario: A regular came into the pharmacy on a Friday night to pick up his Percocet. Since this particular Friday was extremely busy, the medication was not ready. The customer was furious and began harassing the pharmacist. The pharmacist suspected the patient was under the influence of alcohol.

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

Answer: The pharmacist did not feel comfortable dispensing a controlled substance to a patient under the influence of alcohol. The patient was asked to come back Saturday morning. This angered the patient even more and management was called to diffuse the situation.

Take Away: As a pharmacist, it is your responsibility to have good judgment when dispensing medication. If you suspect your patient is impaired, you have every right to refuse dispensing the medication. The pharmacist should follow up with this patient at a later date to discuss support groups in the area that address alcohol or substance abuse.