smilinh

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I am just curious...and I am not familiar with pharmacy law and such...but...

What if someone who was working at a pharmacy with you, say a pharmacy volunteer, who doesn't have insurance, develops an infection...like a urinary tract infection and needs antibiotics. She can't afford to go to the doctor, and if the infection goes untreated, it will definitely get worse and cause other complications. Of course since it's a pharmacy, the antibiotics are right there and can treat her in a matter of days. If you were a pharmacist, what would you do? I am assuming that the pharmacist isn't allowed to distribute a medication without a prescription, and a pharmacist is also very limited to what he or she can prescribe (if any). So if you were in the position of the pharmacist, what can you do to help your coworker?
 

blueclassring

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I'm not a pharmacist either but I believe it is illegal to prescribe drugs without a doctor's license. Since we are not doctors, we have no way of knowing if this is indeed a urinary tract infection or not. Your coworker may be able to get some medical attention at a public health facility for a very good price(say $200).
 

magwe

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There are a lot of ways to help others if you really want to help.

one option:
she cannot afford to see the doctor. Can you pay the cost for her temporary. I am sure she will pay you back. plus you will be a hero for saving her life.
That how I will do exactly.

magwe

smilinh said:
I am just curious...and I am not familiar with pharmacy law and such...but...

What if someone who was working at a pharmacy with you, say a pharmacy volunteer, who doesn't have insurance, develops an infection...like a urinary tract infection and needs antibiotics. She can't afford to go to the doctor, and if the infection goes untreated, it will definitely get worse and cause other complications. Of course since it's a pharmacy, the antibiotics are right there and can treat her in a matter of days. If you were a pharmacist, what would you do? I am assuming that the pharmacist isn't allowed to distribute a medication without a prescription, and a pharmacist is also very limited to what he or she can prescribe (if any). So if you were in the position of the pharmacist, what can you do to help your coworker?
 

twester

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I'm not a pharmacist either, but, from what I understand, stealing is when one takes something that belongs to someone else. It doesn't matter if the pharmacist takes some antibiotics off the shelf for a co-worker or painkillers to entertain the gang at a weekend party. It's stealing.

Besides that, just giving someone medications sets a dangerous precedent. Do it once and they'll expect it again. It's the pharmacist's license on the line not theirs.

I would ask around among colleagues - nurses, doctors, social workers, etc - to see if there's somewhere this person can go to get some low-cost medical care. A kind-hearted doc might even say "Have her come in and I"ll see what I can do for her."

Just my opinion,
Troy
 

jdpharmd?

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To those of you who say it's stealing, lets say you own the pharmacy and all its inventory. Not to mention the cost of Bactrim DS/Amox/Ceph/Pen VK is likely less than $3.00.
 

WVURxGal

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Unfortunatly, you're going to have to tell her to bite the bullet. Most places will set up a payment plan for doctor's visits. I pay $50/month on my ENT bill, and $50/month on my lab fees for culture testing (jerk won't give me the results... I wish I had the time/legal knowhow to challenge that...) It's way too much and I can barely afford it, but it just means I cut out things like clothes, gas (I walk/carpool everywhere now), eating out all the time (unless my boyfriend wants to pay for it :D ). But hell, at least I'm not dead, which is the important part. Remind her that she's got an entire life to reaccumulate whatever she may have to give up/sell/whatever to pay off bills! As a pharmacist, I guess you could always try to contact any friends you may have that are physicians... see if they could do a favor. You could also refer to the free clinic, if you're in a small town and don't have one try to nearest decent-sized city.

My antibiotic costs were $120, plus another $40 for other things, and I couldn't do anything about that except hope my paycheck had already cleared... unless someone can give her a loan, there's not much that can be done as far as medication costs go. She might have to look into a short-term loan place if prescription costs are too high.

Some day, I'm going to have health insurance, and it's going to be awesome.
 

twester

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jdpharmd? said:
To those of you who say it's stealing, lets say you own the pharmacy and all its inventory. Not to mention the cost of Bactrim DS/Amox/Ceph/Pen VK is likely less than $3.00.
OK, I own the pharmacy and all its inventory.

What if I give this person penicillin and she goes into anaphylactic shock? I doubt my liability insurance will cover that one. Damn, I lost the pharmacy and all its inventory. :)

Then there are issues of giving her appropriate antibiotics. I'm not set up to identify the pathogen. Sure, I could give her a broad-spectrum drug to wipe out anything she might have living her UT. But I thought we were trying to get away from that practice?

She needs to see an MD.

Troy
 

rxormd2b

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bbmuffin said:
i would buy them a bottle of cranberry juice or AZO standard to try.
If she has a true UTI then AZO standard will just reduce burning during urination. Allowing the bacteria to multiply exponentionally!! Plus taking AZO Standard for an extended period of time can cause a condition called methemaglobinemia(changing the conformation of the hemaglobin so oxygen won't bind) which is very serious. If I were the pharmacist then I would make sure she is NOT allergic to sulfa and give her 20 bactrim DS, tell her to take one bid. If she doesn't get better then, I would pay for her doctor's visit. I mean really people; no board of pharmacy will take your license over some bactrim. But I would prolly not lable the bottle, and deny all acounts of this incidence in the case of a lawsuit, or board of pharmacy report. :laugh:
 

ultracet

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Unless she dies b/c she didn't know she had a sulfa allergy. Then the family goes after your license in a law suit....

sounds like a plan....

in reality this stuff happens every day (people without insurance with infections). as a pharmacist i would never dispense any legend drug to the patient (contributing to resistance, illegal, etc.). the best advice to this situation is to try to help with the drs visit and send her to a "nice" doctor (who may be sympathetic to the situation) or find a clinic somewhere. you could also take steps to find assistance programs to help with the future.

as a pharmacist we should all be aware of assistance programs and ways to help those who can't afford their meds.
 

raindrop

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Never ever even *think* about taking pills from a stock bottle and "just" giving some out. That violates all that is sacred. The answer has to be NO each and every time.

In my years as a pharmacist I have experienced:

-the store manager who wanted one Claritin (when it was still Rx) for his allergies. He couldn't take the OTC stuff because he was working.

-the out-of-town priest (white collar and all) who wanted two Norvascs for the weekend

-the walk-in who is having an asthma attack and wants an albuterol inhaler

-the neighbor of mine who wanted some Lamisil cream (before it was OTC) for his nasty toe infection

-the relatives who begged for Viagra when it first came out (Heck, they're still begging)

-my aunt-in-law, who is from overseas, had no insurance, but was on Synthroid and had run out

All of these really happened. And although they all SEEM harmless, I told all of them a flat NO. Any of them could have had a bad reaction or been an undercover State Board worker (well, not my neighbor or in-law) Under the worst circumstances, the patient could have had a bad reaction and if that did happen, you can be POSITIVE of 1)a lawsuit, 2) your license being suspended or revoked, 3) unemployment

Under the best circumstances, the patient will have no ill effects and will probably just give you a thank you (if you're lucky) But that's a very small gain, compared to the potential for a very huge loss.

Even when my own daughter developed bronchitis, and I had to do was mix a $4 bottle of amoxicillin suspension...no way. I took her to the peds on my next day off and had a paper Rx.

The answer is always NO.



smilinh said:
I am just curious...and I am not familiar with pharmacy law and such...but...

What if someone who was working at a pharmacy with you, say a pharmacy volunteer, who doesn't have insurance, develops an infection...like a urinary tract infection and needs antibiotics. She can't afford to go to the doctor, and if the infection goes untreated, it will definitely get worse and cause other complications. Of course since it's a pharmacy, the antibiotics are right there and can treat her in a matter of days. If you were a pharmacist, what would you do? I am assuming that the pharmacist isn't allowed to distribute a medication without a prescription, and a pharmacist is also very limited to what he or she can prescribe (if any). So if you were in the position of the pharmacist, what can you do to help your coworker?
 

chloejane

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I completely agree with you (although I'm not a pharmacist yet) !! Its not that I don't sympathize with the patient, but you never know what could happen... what if its a bad batch of meds that hasn't been recalled yet? (I have had to call patients at home and ask them to bring things back- i.e. rezulin- for thier own safety). If an adverse reaction does occur, do you want that on your concience or threatening your licence?
Most cities have a clinic that is either for people that cannot pay or do not require insurance and charge a minimal office fee. I would refer this technician to one of these clinics and if she were truly unable to pay, I would consider paying the bill. However, I do not think you should put your career on the line to treat a patient illegally... too much at stake
But, that's just my opinion
 

2005pharmD

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twester said:
I'm not a pharmacist either, but, from what I understand, stealing is when one takes something that belongs to someone else. It doesn't matter if the pharmacist takes some antibiotics off the shelf for a co-worker or painkillers to entertain the gang at a weekend party. It's stealing.

Besides that, just giving someone medications sets a dangerous precedent. Do it once and they'll expect it again. It's the pharmacist's license on the line not theirs.

I would ask around among colleagues - nurses, doctors, social workers, etc - to see if there's somewhere this person can go to get some low-cost medical care. A kind-hearted doc might even say "Have her come in and I"ll see what I can do for her."

Just my opinion,
Troy

I'm not a pharmacist yet, and I do not plan on stealing medications from the pharmacy once I become a pharmacist; but are the policies so stiff so that they'll be able to take a pharmacist's license away for taking medications (stealing) from the pharmacy??