AMA adopts resolution on pharmacist drug inquiries

Group calls some inquiries 'inappropriate,' 'unwarranted'

NEW YORK — Inquiries by pharmacists with doctors regarding the rationale behind prescriptions, diagnoses and treatment plans are inappropriate, according to a new resolution by the American Medical Association.

The AMA adopted the resolution at its 2013 annual meeting, calling such inquiries "an interference with the practice of medicine and unwarranted."

According to the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, the Drug Enforcement Administration has reminded pharmacists of their responsibility to ensure that prescriptions for controlled substances are in compliance with federal law and to prevent drug diversion.

The AMA said it would work with such groups as the National Association of Chain Drug Stores to engage with the DEA and the Department of Justice to develop an "appropriate policy for pharmacists to work with physicians in order to reduce the incidence of drug diversion and inappropriate dispensing."



- 10:07 PM
cwashbu says

I work in California. A prescription is a "request" to fill a prescription or verify and hospital chart order. It is not a command to "do what ever I say". The pharmacist's responsibility is to ensure the drug request is correct and safe on many levels. I believe most pharmacist will continue to do this irregardless of what the AMA says.

- 1:11 PM
American Pharmacists Association says

The actions taken by the AMA House of Delegates call attention to an important issue, but don’t address the real problem or offer solutions for patients and regulators. A pharmacist asking too many questions of their physician colleagues is just a symptom of a larger issue: the US faces a major public health epidemic with prescription drug abuse – in particular opioid abuse. It is not pharmacy's intent to delay patients from receiving these needed medications or to unnecessarily interrupt prescribers. The current situation highlights the need for pharmacy, medicine and regulators to collaborate on solutions that address the root cause abuse problems and health care system inefficiencies in this country. Tom Menighan offers more insight on this resolution passage on his CEO Blog:

- 4:00 PM
kschweers says

NCPA opposes this resolution. While we appreciate the changes AMA made to the original proposed resolution, the final resolution is still problematic. Read NCPA's take here:

- 5:28 AM
michelbam says

The actions taken by for-profit unaccredited medical schools are making it difficult for U.S. medical and osteopathic medical schools to secure clinical training sites for their students in U.S. hospitals. - Adam Gottbetter

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