Saturday, September 27, 2008

One more post about Med Guides then I'll shut up

I dunno, it seems to me that this whole med guide thing would be a fairly big deal to the standard operating procedure of most pharmacies, but it's being pretty much ignored. Everyone knows about these FDA-mandated drug information sheets that are supposed to be supplied with EVERY new prescription AND refill for a whole host of commonly dispensed drugs -- antidepressants, NSAIDs, warfarin, ADD drugs (Adderall, Concerta) to name just a few. The regulations state that a pharmacy's own printout is NOT a substitute. They also state that a prescription dispensed without this required information can be considered to be 'misbranded.'
That's a pretty big deal. There are some products (eg, Advair inhalers) where the med guide is included in the box and you don't have to worry about it. But I can confidently state that the pharmacists I work with are NOT grabbing that tear-off pad and enclosing that med guide with every (or any) of the dozens and dozens of ibuprofens, Wellbutrins, Lexapros and Methylins that we verify every day. It's not that I'm dying to do it either --- it's a cumbersome regulation to add to all the cumbersome regulations we already have. But I can't help but worry about the liability issue, and I think it is the job of our head office people to help us devise a way to comply with this, as long as it's on the books -- good or bad. But they're not doing anything and nobody really seems to care too much about it. It's just kind of puzzling. Of course, we'll get all kinds of directives every week about the stupid stuff -- full page memos about how to key in some discount coupon, or the 400th revision of the dress code......

I'll shut up now.


Pharmacist Erin said...

Totally agree. We get weekly updates on how to use new coupons or what drugs are paid under cost, etc. But we don't get the basic info of Med Guides, which seems SO much more important than a dang coupon. Med Guides are pretty much non-existent in my pharmacy. I didn't know that our own printout wasn't a substitute. Good to know! I'll have to bring this issue up with our PIC. Thanks for the info!

Shalom said...

If you have net access at work, there's an easy way to do it: the FDA's website at has the full list of medguides, with links to PDF files of the various ones. The common ones (NSAIDS, antidepressants, some of the ADHD drugs) are saved to my desktop; the rest of them, there's a button on my Firefox tool bar that goes to that FDA site.