Retail News Breaks Archives
Rx patient experience may take hit from new regs
January 21st, 2011
NEW YORK – Local and state government bodies nationwide have implemented or are mulling new rules that stand to impact the patient care experience at retail pharmacies.
In Arizona, for example, Peoria could become the state's first city to require fingerprinting at pharmacies for patients picking up prescriptions for commonly abused drugs. The initiative is an effort to curb a rising number of fraud cases.
Law officials in the community last month proposed an ordinance that would require anyone filling prescriptions for such medications as the pain relievers OxyContin and Percocet to provide identification and to be fingerprinted at the pharmacy counter. The proposed regulation is on the agenda for the Jan. 28 meeting of Arizona's state pharmacy board.
Peoria city attorney Steve Kemp said he thinks the proposal could help furnish better evidence in order to prosecute cases. However, Dan Pochoda, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, called the move an overreaction and claimed that it "raises serious concerns about intrusion of privacy."
Likewise, Massachusetts has widened the range of prescription drugs for which patients must show identification when picking them up.
Under new regulations that went into effect Jan. 1, patients must show pharmacists their ID to obtain Schedule 3, 4 and 5 drugs, including Valium, Vicodin and Ativan. Health officials claim that the drugs are among medications implicated in many cases of prescription drug abuse, overdoses and overdose deaths.
Previously, patients in Massachusetts were required to provide ID for drugs like OxyContin. The new information is now being entered into the state's Prescription Drug Monitoring database to ensure that the medications are being used appropriately. Officials have emphasized that the new regulations were created to ensure patient privacy.
And in Ohio, a rule change now limits the number of times that a prescription can be transferred between pharmacies to once a year. The Ohio State Board of Pharmacy approved the restriction last month because of pharmacist concerns about paperwork and possible communication glitches that could jeopardize patients. Prescription transfers within the same retail chain, such as from a store in Ohio to a store in Florida, are exempt.