APhA Issues Statement on Inappropriate Ordering, Prescribing and Dispensing of Medications and Supplies

WASHINGTON, DC – The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Board of Trustees issued the following statement in response to pharmacists’ concerns about inappropriate ordering, prescribing and dispensing of medications and medical supplies that could exacerbate supply shortages and jeopardize patient care. APhA, along with the American Medical Association and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists also issued a joint statement to further address the issue.

As evidence-based medicine identifies existing and new medications and treatments for preventing and treating coronavirus, access to these important modalities is critical for patient continuity of care, positive health outcomes and continued coordination and collaboration between healthcare professionals. Inappropriate ordering, prescribing, dispensing and sale of these products by any entity or healthcare provider violates health professionals’ existing codes of ethics focused on fair and equitable access to health resources, and meeting the legitimate needs of patients and society. Therefore, the American Pharmacists Association

  1. supports the provision of preventive therapies to protect healthcare workers from infectious diseases when the science supports, and generally accepted guidelines or governmental agencies recommend, their use.
  2. asserts that inappropriate ordering, prescribing and/or dispensing which results in hoarding of medicines by entities or healthcare professionals for their anticipatory, personal, family or colleague use, is unethical and contributes to drug shortages.
  3. supports pharmacists’ practice autonomy and utilization of their professional judgement in the stewardship of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies.
  4. calls on regulatory bodies and associations regulating and representing members of hospitals, health care facilities and the health professions to collaborate in addressing inappropriate or unethical ordering, prescribing and/or sales of medications and medical supplies, exacerbating shortages of these treatments.

About the American Pharmacists Association
The American Pharmacists Association, founded in 1852 as the American Pharmaceutical Association, is a 501 (c)(6) organization, representing 60,000 practicing pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists, student pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and others interested in advancing the profession. APhA is dedicated to helping all pharmacists improve medication use and advance patient care and is the first and largest association of pharmacists in the United States. For more information, please visit www.pharmacist.com.