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Ethics In The Pharmacy Field


Ethics is a huge part of the medical industry—even in the pharmacy field. When they fill prescriptions, they must do so in an ethical manner. They cannot think about their personal values. Instead, they must think about their patients’ best interests.

This is not easy. Every day, pharmacists face moral dilemmas as they deal with a wide variety of patients with different needs. Each one has different reactions to medications, so finding what works without causing too much harm can be a challenge. On top of that, pharmacists must also please supervisors, other health professionals, professional organizations, and regulators. When there is a discrepancy between the wants and needs of at least two of these parties, things start to get tricky. Unethical behavior can come into play, leading to license loss and other penalties.

In any case, ethics need to lead the way in every pharmacy transaction. A study asked pharmacists to write about a moral dilemma that they had faced as well as how they used their own ethical stances and values to deal with these dilemmas. Those running  the study determined that the responses to these pharmacy dilemmas could be placed into four categories:

  • Commitment to the patient’s wellbeing, but at the same time, allowing the patient the right to self-determination
  • Reliability and care, with respect to the patient’s confidentiality
  • Social responsibility, in which the pharmacist feels responsible for how their actions impact society
  • Pharmaceutical expertise, along with education in basic pharmaceutical sciences, health psychology, and therapeutics

Are Pharmacists Ethical?

Studies show that pharmacists tend to be caring but they are not necessarily as moral or ethical as other professionals in the health industry. However, being able to effectively manage medication therapy is a good indicator that pharmacists are doing their best to do the right thing in a variety of situations. Pharmacists need to think about every ethical decision they make, as each one has good and bad consequences. In some cases, the bad outweighs the good, and this is something that may need to be assessed with every patient.

While not every pharmacy decision can involve manager input, effective managers can give employees the tools they need to make ethical decisions. Managers need to assess all the policies, mandates, and influences involved to train pharmacists on how to make the right decisions. With proper training and a supportive environment, pharmacists can act morally and make the best decisions.

Keep Your License With Help From a Tampa Pharmacist License & Pharmacy Permit Lawyer

While many pharmacists are caring individuals, they need to make sure they are acting in an ethical manner at all times and thinking beyond their personal values and self-interests. Otherwise, they could face ethical issues.

Tampa pharmacist license and pharmacy permit lawyer David P. Rankin can help you deal with any administrative issues so you can keep your license. Schedule a consultation with my office today by filling out the online form or calling (813) 968-6633.