Healthcare Regulations on Pharmaceutical Sales

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Every business enterprise has its own terms and conditions about sales to ensure best practices. Pharmacies, hospitals, IT companies and other manufacturing companies vary in products and services. Therefore, guidelines about sale also have to vary.

In pharmacies, medicines are the main items sold. There are rules and regulation governing sales of medicines. To be more specific, over-the-counter drugs and control/prescription drugs cannot be sold in the same manner. For prescription drugs, there has to be a legal, signed document by the physician. Unless a proper prescription form is presented, control/prescription drugs cannot be sold. In a standard hospital, there should be compliance with instructions about where to keep control/prescription medicines. They must be out of reach of unauthorized personnel. Only few people must be allowed access to the stock. Moreover, while making sales proper documentation is recommended for best practices.

Documentation must include proper information, especially the date on the prescription form. Here is an example to explain the importance of this best practice:

With control medicines that are addictive, patients return at a later date with the previously dispensed prescription. Therefore, when sales are made, pharmacists dispensing must stamp “sold” on the prescription. The name of the patient must also be entered correctly. There have been cases where addicts send others to buy the medicine. Therefore, it is important that the patient presents proof of identity.

This also why, for best practices certified pharmacists must be employed to make sales of medicines. They know what medicines are over-the-counter drugs and those that need a prescription. Besides, these professionals are trained to identify medicines based on the generic components. Employing people who haven’t studied pharmacy can be a big risk. This is especially seen in African countries, due to economic crisis and high unemployment rate.

The consequence of this is drug abuse. Non-professional pharmacists work at the counter in most under and undeveloped countries. They dispense control/prescription medicines without knowing their pharmacological effects. Most control drugs are addictive and patients often start abusing these medicines.

In the United States, there are strict healthcare regulations about buying and selling control drugs. Moreover, to preserve best practices in pharmacies there are consequences. If one fails to ensure compliance with regulations it can give rise to legal issues. Before a pharmaceutical store can sell medicines, they have to be registered and licensed to do so. There are bodies that regulate compliance with pharmaceutical terms and condition.

Therefore, in healthcare having guidelines on terms and conditions about sales of medicines is a highly recommended best practice. Failure to do so is taking a huge risk and putting patients at an even greater risk.

Further reading: Corporate Governance | Audit | Performance Improvement

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