It would be impossible to assure that pharmacists applied this discretion consistently from store to store and day to day.

Editorial: Meth bill would demand too much of pharmacists

Once again, legislators wants to force Pharmacists to “play doctor” without being able to do a physical exam or have the pt’s medical records. It is also outside/against the Pharmacy Practice Act. IMO.. so if this bill becomes a law.. every time that a Pharmacist sells PSE.. he/she will be required by law to diagnose the pt’s need for the PSE and could be in violation of the Practice Act.  My money is on the Indiana BOP will NEVER take any action against these Pharmacists for violating the practice act.

This one is fraught with landmines.

A bill approved this week by an Indiana Senate committee would enable pharmacists to diagnose a customer’s condition and determine whether to allow the customer to purchase medicine containing pseudoephedrine. Under current Indiana law, consumers need to show their driver’s license to buy such medicine.

The bill is an alternative to another proposal, rejected repeatedly by the Legislature, that would require a physician’s prescription to purchase medicine containing pseudoephedrine. Other states have found similar laws to be highly effective in reducing the making and use of the illegal and volatile drug methamphetamine. Pseudoephedrine is a main ingredient used in the manufacturing of meth.

But this new Indiana bill, and a similar one to be considered Monday by the House Public Health Committee, just doesn’t make sense.

It would empower a group of people who are not physicians to make snap judgments, based largely on appearance, about whether a customer really needs a certain kind of medicine, or whether they will use it illegally to make meth.

Such discretion does not belong with pharmacists, nor should they want it. It would take them away from their core responsibility, dispensing prescription medicine accurately, according to the orders of physicians. It would be impossible to assure that pharmacists applied this discretion consistently from store to store and day to day.

And think of the potential liability. Let’s say a well-meaning pharmacist decides that a customer really does need pseudoephedrine, so her or she allows the person to purchase it. Then the person uses it to cook a batch of meth. Now, let’s say, a person who uses that batch of meth suffers a heart attack and dies.

The pharmacist, potentially, could be held liable for the death of the meth user.

Perhaps the biggest pitfall of this bill, however, is that it is patently unfair to consumers. The ability to purchase a cold medicine that can make them feel better would depend upon the whim of a pharmacist. How could that be considered fair? It’s another lawsuit waiting to happen.

The same Senate committee has also approved the bill that would require convicted drug offenders to have a physician’s prescription to purchase medicine containing pseudoephedrine.

Now, that’s a sensible bill — one that would apply actual criteria to the decision of whether a consumer can buy the medicine.


4 Responses

  1. Maybe a few emails commenting how we need BMV access to verify the license being entered into the electronic pseudo ephedrine database they spent all that money on is legit would be appropriate now……every pharmacy in the state was to be on that electronic system…it was to also help keep tabs on quantities sold per person…..that was supposed to take care of the problem….

  2. I don’t even know what to say. I definitely DO NOT want PSE products RX only. This is unnecessary. People WILL manufacture meth if they really want it. Those with limited incomes and transportation issues won’t be able to access a necessary medication.

  3. And like the TSA “No fly” list…can see problems with the “drug offender” list…same name, wrong box checked etc. If one gets on by mistake how would one remedy getting off the list? Admit haven’t read that part of the bill yet. But we all know how well government list work

    Agree with you on the other portion….so they can turn down the well family member since the isn’t the one making the purchase? Also of they were to judge on appearance, my neighbors who have not had the benefit of good dental care.would be denied just on that basis alone. We had an article.not long ago in the paper, a lady was pulled over for.speeding and the deputy asked her how long a she’d been using Meth because she had bad teeth. She had never used meth…didn’t have dental insurance and little dental care. The drug task force said in the article said they use poor dental care as a sign of possible Meth use……in other words…profiling.

  4. How utterly ridiculous this bill is. Pass bills to help returning vet, build housing like none use hotels for the homeless families, fix our infrastructure, pay down national debt and a million other bills need to be passed, when two years ago I had to sign for and show my ID just for a box of Sudafed for a stuffy head cold

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