Apotheek AAN ZEE, Noordwijk, The Netherlands
To find ethical guidelines for pharmacy practice today seems rather complicated. Moral principles which are based on religion or on Western-GreekJewish-Christian tradition are not self-evident any more. Today’s society asks for a rational approach to problems that result from conflicting interests of all kinds, including topics in health care. This chapter tries to develop a reasoning that can be applied to the development and use of pharmaceuticals. General principles, based on accepted values in Western society such as autonomy, democracy and solidarity, lead to guidelines for ethical behaviour. The chapter focuses on the aspects of cost control and pharmaceutical care. It concludes that protocols are important tools for everyday practice. Pharmacists should focus more on negative outcomes of pharmacotherapy. Monitoring of patient care, identification and prevention of possible adverse effects, medication surveillance, communication and information about proper use of medicines are priority items within our profession. A suggestion for a general code of ethics is proposed.
Keywords: Adverse effects; Autonomy; Cost control; Ethics; Euthanasia; Human Genome Project; Medication surveillance; Pharmaceutical care; Pharmacoeconomics; Pharmacovigilance; Pharmacy; Pharmacy profession; Philosophy
Pharmaceutical Ethics. Edited by S. Salek and A. Edgar. © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.