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FDA Approves Three New Treatments for Multiple Myeloma

Healthy Aging: Raising Nutritional Awareness for Seniors

Age-related changes in economic and social status can diminish a person’s nutritional condition, thus increasing the risk of illness and dependence. Drugs both affect nutrition and are affected by nutrition as well.

Utility of Probiotics in Gastrointestinal Disease

Patients may need help in understanding the key differences between the many available OTC formulations.

Coexistent Mental Health Disorders in Diabetic Patients

Diabetic patients may be particularly vulnerable to developing mental health disorders because diabetes is considered one of the most psychologically and behaviorally demanding chronic medical conditions.

Managing Neuropsychiatric Symptoms in Traumatic Brain Injury

Patients should be monitored for increased intracranial pressure and seizure occurrence.

Pharmacists in California and Oregon to Prescribe Birth Control 12/14/2015

State May Regulate Dispensing of Emergency Contraception 10/16/2015

This ruling is the latest in a series of judgments on whether religious believers can opt out of providing services.

Drug Addicts Suing Pharmacists 8/18/2015

Two cases, set 20 years apart, see the responsibility of pharmacies very differently.

No Religious Exemption for Pharmacy Owners 8/18/2015

Whistleblowing Pharmacists 4/16/2015

As these cases illustrate, exposing Medicare fraud may have monetary and emotional consequences for the whistleblower.

Long-Term Care Pharmacy Liabilities 2/18/2015

Can a pharmacy be so far removed from the medication delivery system that it is immune from any legal responsibility?

OTC Liability for Pharmacists 12/17/2014

Does the pharmacist’s duty of care extend to warning patients about the possible adverse effects of nonprescription drugs?

Pharmacy Ownership Law Remains in North Dakota 12/17/2014

Self-Defense and Employment Law 10/16/2014

Pharmacists are responding to threats of violence in a variety of ways, including arming themselves as a means of self-defense.

HIPAA Privacy Rights and Lawsuits 7/17/2014

As this case demonstrates, pharmacists should never access patient information for personal reasons.

Privacy and Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs 5/16/2014

Do patients have a reasonable expectation of privacy with regard to their prescription drug information?

New Rules for Compounding Drug Products 2/19/2014

The New England Compounding Center meningitis outbreak inspired the creation of the Drug Quality and Security Act.

Time Matters: Statute of Limitations 12/18/2013

The time between an injury caused by a pharmaceutical mistake and the filing of a lawsuit is often crucial.

ER/LA Opioid Label Changes Mandated 10/18/2013

Legislative Initiatives and Review of Abuse-Deterrent Opioid Formulations 10/18/2013

The pharmaceutical industry is developing delivery systems resistant to abuse and diversion.

Lethal Injections, Drug Shortages, and Pharmacy Ethics 10/18/2013

Recent shortages of drugs used for the death penalty further complicate this controversial issue.

Driving Under the Influence: The Prescription Defense 6/21/2013

Can you be convicted of a DUI if taking a prescription drug as directed?

Pharmacists and Prescription Drug Schemes 4/19/2013

Two recent cases in Michigan involve pharmacists charged with running illegal prescription drug schemes.

Whistleblowing and Retaliatory Discharge 3/20/2013

Three cases involving at-will employment of pharmacists examine whether their terminations were legal.

Insider Trading and Clinical Trials 2/20/2013

The largest insider-trading case in history involves a doctor who provided results from an Alzheimer’s drug trial to a hedge fund.

Off-Label Promotion Is Free Speech 1/23/2013

Does the ban on off-label marketing of drugs violate a pharmaceutical sales representative’s freedom of speech?

Compounding: Problem or Pariah? 12/19/2012

The company at the center of the fungal meningitis outbreak was acting as a manufacturer and not as a traditional compounding pharmacy.

Emergency Contraception: Law & Ethics 11/20/2012

Illinois pharmacists are no longer required to dispense emergency contraception when their own religious beliefs are opposed to its use.

Recent DEA Developments 10/19/2012

E-prescribing of controlled substances and prescription misuse are among the many issues being addressed by the DEA.

Affordable Care Act (Mostly) Upheld 8/21/2012

Demands for pharmacist services under the ACA are likely to have a huge impact on future workforce needs.

The Controlled Substances Pendulum 7/18/2012

As gatekeepers of controlled substances, pharmacists must distinguish between legitimate and questionable prescriptions.

Pharmacy Fraud, Waste, and Abuse 6/20/2012

According to a government report, questionable Medicare Part D billing seems to be on the rise in community pharmacies.

DEA Continues Corporate Responsibility Drive 5/22/2012

Another chain-store pharmacy is being investigated for distributing “too much” oxycodone.

Corporate Social Responsibility: Justice Without Due Process? 4/23/2012

The DEA’s expectations for policing pharmacies and their patients who request controlled substances are unclear.

Off-Label Use of Alzheimer’s Drugs 3/20/2012

The quest for more effective treatments may lead to questionable off-label prescribing.

Duty to Warn With No Directions for Use 2/17/2012

It’s time to end the confusing practice of putting “Use as directed” on prescriptions.

The (Non) Law of Drug Shortages 1/20/2012

Many factors contribute to why reported drug shortages are at their highest levels in more than a decade. 

Free Speech, Drug Marketing, and Off-Label Use 12/20/2011

Does prohibiting off-label promotion of drugs violate commercial free speech?

FDA Tries to Compound the Compounding Rules 11/16/2011

The FDA has continually questioned the traditional compounding of veterinary drugs. 

Legal Consequences of Social Networking 10/19/2011

As health care professionals, pharmacists must be cautious when sharing information online. 

Brand-Name and Generic Drugs Not Equivalent in Malpractice Claims 9/20/2011

A recent Supreme Court ruling means that generic manufacturers cannot be held liable for inadequate warning labels. 

Last Words: Data Mining Is Legal 8/19/2011

The Supreme Court has ruled that state attempts to restrict this practice are unconstitutional. 

REMS: A New Duty for Pharmacists? 7/20/2011

It is misleading to believe that restricted access programs for prescription drugs will not result in more responsibility for pharmacists. 

New FDA Strategy: Criminal Charges Against Pharma Executives 6/20/2011

Should pharmaceutical company CEOs be held accountable for off-label promotion of their products? 

The Prescription Defense 5/18/2011

A zero-tolerance policy toward possession of a controlled substance has unintended consequences. 

Beware Your Accounts 3/18/2011

This month’s case reveals an embezzlement scheme involving a pharmacist’s trusted accountant. 

No Punitive Damages for Ordinary Negligence 2/18/2011

Plaintiffs in pharmacy malpractice cases have begun with increasing frequency to ask for extra money designed to punish the defendants for their conduct. 

Data Mining Revisited—Again and Again 1/20/2011

There has been much debate in the pharmacy world over whether this practice is lawful or not. 

Duty to Warn Fulfilled 12/17/2010

Do pharmacists have a duty to warn patients about the dangers associated with the use of a prescription medication? 

Rogue Pharmacists 10/20/2010

We must not allow a few bad apples to spoil the integrity of the pharmacy profession. 

Political Influence and "Pharmacy Choice" 9/20/2010

A case involving state legislator fraud and several health care companies crosses the line between conflict of interest and legitimate support. 

Generic Manufacturer Liability 8/19/2010

Are manufacturers responsible for label changes if the FDA previously found the generic to be bioequivalent to the brand-name drug? 

Electronic Controlled Substances Prescriptions 7/20/2010

New federal regulations allow controlled substances to be prescribed electronically, which should help prevent errors and decrease diversion. 

Health Care Reform Legislation: Part II—Opportunities 6/17/2010

Coverage of this important topic continues as we explore how benefits can be achieved if pharmacy takes advantage of the opportunities that the reforms embody.

Health Care Reform Legislation: Part I 5/20/2010

The pharmacy industry will have many opportunities to benefit from the new federal regulations.

Health Care Reform Signed Into Law 4/19/2010

Steroid Marketing Convictions 4/19/2010

The illegal distribution of anabolic steroids and human growth hormone can cost pharmacists their licenses and more. 

A Prescription for Car Trouble 3/19/2010

Claiming ignorance of controlled substances in your vehicle may not excuse you from liability, even if you’re a pharmacist. 

Liability to Third Parties 2/19/2010

Do pharmacies owe a “duty of care” to those injured by a pharmacy patient who may be abusing prescription drugs?

New Jersey Passes Medical Marijuana Law 2/19/2010

Is Your e-Mail at Work Private? 1/20/2010

How enforceable are company policies regarding personal electronic communications?

Gender Discrimination and Its Consequences 12/17/2009

There is no reason to differentiate compensation or enforcement of policies based on gender alone, as a female pharmacist and a large pharmacy chain have learned.

Criminalization of Medication Errors 11/19/2009

A recent case that equates a pharmacist’s mistake with manslaughter also raises the question of pharmacy technician responsibility.

HIPAA Breach Notification Rule 10/21/2009

New federal guidelines address compliance procedures when protected health information is disclosed in an unauthorized manner.

Mylan Files Lawsuit Against Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 9/21/2009

Unraveling Plan B’s Legal Status 9/21/2009

In order to clarify the current controversy surrounding the dispensing of emergency contraception, the Washington State case and recent FDA activity must be examined.

The Price of Living: End-of-Life Costs 8/20/2009

It is very expensive to provide treatment for patients during their last 6 months of life. Should the U.S. adopt a policy of health care rationing to control soaring costs?

Pharmacy Robberies 7/20/2009

Crime is on the rise, with thieves going directly to the source to steal drugs. Several recent incidents raise the question, what is considered excessive force when protecting the pharmacy?

Pharmacists Beware: Data Mining Unlawful 6/18/2009

Several states have adopted laws that prevent the disclosure of prescriber-identifiable data. Has the tide turned in favor of protecting the privacy of prescribing patterns? 

Federal Preemption of States’ Drug Product Liability Laws DOA 5/19/2009

What impact will Wyeth v. Levine have on drug labeling and public health? 

Recusal of Judges 4/20/2009

When a judge has an alleged conflict of interest in a matter before the court, who decides if he or she should be excused from the case?

Disposal of Controlled Substances 3/18/2009

If patients can’t make a good faith effort to return unwanted drugs without a lot of bureaucratic hassle, what should they do with them?

Right of Conscience: Federal Developments 2/20/2009

In late December 2008, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a set of regulations prohibiting individuals or legal entities that accept any money from federal programs from discriminating against those who refuse to engage in any form of behavior they deem offensive.

Rogue Internet Pharmacies 1/26/2009

In the past few months, the federal government has issued two sets of rules regarding the use of computers and related technologies governing the prescribing and dispensing of controlled substances.

Use of Legally Marketed Drugs for Lethal Injection 11/18/2008

As of September 1, 2008, there are 37 states in the United States that permit the use of the death penalty for individuals who have committed the most heinous of crimes.

Legal Effect of an Apology 10/17/2008

The simple apology, "I'm sorry," while well intended at the time a health practitioner realizes something went wrong and caused the patient a problem, may be taken as evidence of guilt in a malpractice case.

Drug Marketing to Change 9/18/2008

Although not the first time the industry has attempted self-policing, on July 10, 2008, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the trade group representing traditional research-oriented drug companies and biotechnology firms, announced revised guidelines that will impact how manufacturers market prescription medicines to health care professionals.

Patient Safety Organizations 7/18/2008

Get ready for some new legal duties regarding patient safety and error reporting.

FDA Inspection of Foreign Drug Companies 6/19/2008

Have you ever wondered how well the FDA is doing at protecting the American public from harmful drugs?

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice 5/20/2008

The sorcerer leaves his apprentice alone in the workshop tidying up...

Rights of Pharmacy Interns 4/18/2008

Many pharmacists voluntarily help educate the next generation of pharmacists who serve as pharmacy interns (or externs or similar titles) in retail and hospital settings.

Access to Experimental Drugs 3/20/2008

Imagine that a family member is suffering from a horrible disease that has no apparent treatment.

Beware of Disability Insurance 2/20/2008

Many pharmacists work for employers who offer disability insurance.

Hey, DEA: Horses Are Not People 1/24/2008

This month's case is not about prescriptions for humans, at least not primarily.

Health Care Fraud Recoveries: Point the Finger Elsewhere 12/20/2007

It's not immoral to make sure that prescription drug pharmacists don't overcharge the system.

DES Returns to the Courtroom  11/19/2007

It should not be a surprise to practicing pharmacists in the United States that diethylstilbestrol (DES) should never be dispensed to pregnant women because of the risks of cancer and other debilitating diseases to adults who were exposed to the drug while still in the womb.

David Victorious Over Goliath 10/18/2007

A s Goliath moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him.

Failed Duty: Cause of Damages? 9/19/2007

Articles discussing the liability of pharmacists or pharmacies for failing to warn patients about risks associated with the use of medications abound.

The Crossroads Between Law and Ethics: Conscience Clauses 8/20/2007

Is it a good and noble thing to stand up for your beliefs and refuse to do activities that you fully and honestly think are wrong, evil, or even sinful? What if your refusal to do something negatively affects somebody else who does not share your values--is it still okay to follow your conscience? Or, as a licensed pharmacist who swears to uphold our code of ethics, do you have to look first to the welfare of your patients even if doing so results in having to do something you understand to be morally wrong? Another way of looking at these dilemmas is to ask where the boundaries of law and ethics intersect and ask which of these forms of behavioral conduct takes precedence.

Obstruction of Process, Trespass, and Disorderly Conduct 7/13/2007

Have you ever wondered what you would do if you were arrested for allegedly doing something criminally wrong? Probably not.

Mining Ban Unconstitutional 6/19/2007

The New Hampshire Legislature enacted a law that bans pharmacies, insurance companies, and similar entities from transferring or using prescriber-identifiable data for certain commercial purposes.

Restrictions on Pharmacy Locations 5/18/2007

It is time to dream.

Oh, My Aching Back! 4/17/2007

Does the following describe your job as a pharmacist? Light work and physical demands involving occasional lifting of five to 15 pounds, sitting 5%, standing 50%, walking 25%, bending 10%, and reaching 10%.

Testamentary Capacity 3/21/2007

This is a story made for soap operas.

The Rule of Lenity 2/20/2007

Assume that you are working in a community pharmacy that you own and are fully licensed as a pharmacist by your state Board of Pharmacy (or the government's licensing organization), as is your pharmacy.

In Pari Delicto 1/23/2007

Although Latin phrases are not currently in vogue within the context of proper English communication (written or spoken), court opinions continue using archaic terms as if they were part of the lexicon of the day.