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Changes A Pharmacist Can Make In A Medical Prescription And How To Go About It

Pharmacist Can Check Prescription for correctness
Pharmacist Can Check Prescription for correctness
In the hospital setting, medical doctors prescribe, the pharmacist dispense and counsel patients. One of the duties associated with the dispensing is checking the diagnosis with the drugs prescribed by the doctor. It is not out of place to make mistake.
This chain process help to reduce the chance of medication error.


What can a pharmacist do when a drug seems not to be suitable for the patient’s condition? Here are what the pharmacist can do.

Medication Error In Hospital Setting

Send the patient back to the doctor with a politely written note of observation of the error and possible solution. On the other hand, the pharmacist can accompany the patient to the doctor for clarification. However, there are changes a pharmacist can make even without drawing the attention of the doctor involved. They include:
  • Add or change a patient’s address upon verification from the patient.

In the following situations, a pharmacist can only alter the prescription with due consultation from a prescriber.
  • Add or change a dosage form
  • drug strength
  • quantity
  • direction for use
  • issue date.

Things a pharmacist cannot change include
  • Patient name
  • Prescribed drug

Note: No prescription should be altered orally

The following are the things pharmacist check in a prescription
  • The drug
  • The drug dose
  • Frequency
  • Duration
  • Weight of patient
  • Organ function
  • Age

There have been some negative stories of pharmacist causing harm due to prescription adaptation. The success stories far out weighed the risk.


However, if a doctor failed to adjust a prescription drug for a patient when the pharmacist knows the risk is quite high, he has the right to
  • Decline to dispense the drug

Medication Error In Community Setting

Community pharmacist faces less restriction especially when the diagnosis falls into diseases that pharmacist can treat. For more complicated disease, the pharmacist may send the patient back to the prescriber. If the prescription is also not adjusted, the pharmacist has the right to
  • Decline to dispense the drug
On other occasions, a patient that is very familiar with the pharmacist with a prescription from a doctor can be altered since the pharmacist knows much about the patients’ medical condition.


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