Magazine article Drug Topics

Indiana Court Clarifies R.Ph.S' Duties

Magazine article Drug Topics

Indiana Court Clarifies R.Ph.S' Duties

Article excerpt

A state supreme court has ruled that pharmacists should not refill prescriptions for drugs they know or should know are being abused. The Indiana decision is one of the few in any state that has held that pharmacists have a duty to notify the prescribing physician or warn a patient about a drug's misuse.

The case involved incidents that occurred before Indiana instituted a mandatory counseling rule for all patients in the wake of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 requirement for Medicaid patients. Legal experts have long expected that mandatory counseling requirements would lead courts to hold pharmacists to a higher standard than before and expose them to greater liability.

Lawrence J. Sage, executive director of the Indiana Pharmacists Association, said IPA's attorney was still analyzing the decision's impact. "It is quite a departure from the way courts have ruled in the past about pharmacists' duties," he observed. …

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