Even though your community contracts with a specific pharmacy, your residents and their family members/responsible parties have the freedom to use a pharmacy of their own choosing. There are, however, rules that govern this choice. Let’s take a look at what these rules are.
First of all, every pharmacy providing medications to your residents must comply with local, state and federal laws and regulations. They must also follow all relevant policies, procedures and standards of practice already established by your community. Provide a copy of your policies and procedures to any residents or family members/responsible parties who are working with a non-contract pharmacy provider as well as to the pharmacy itself.
Create the requisite paper trail by documenting, signing and dating the following in the resident’s medical record:
Regulations Governing Non-Contract Pharmacies
Your residents are free to choose any pharmacy as long as that pharmacy provides a number of services, including but not limited to the following:
1. Accurately dispensing prescriptions that are:
Based on authorized prescriber orders;
Dispensed in containers meeting legal requirements for stability;
Packaged in accordance with your community’s needs and equipment requirements.
2. Only providing medications, biologicals and supplies that are:
Approved by USP and NF;
Labeled according to all applicable laws and community policies and procedures.
In the case of inappropriate labels, you (and the resident) have the right to refuse to accept the medication until the label is corrected.
3. Providing over-the-counter medications not requiring a prescription in their original containers, labeled with the resident’s name.
4. Offering emergency pharmacy services 24 hours per day, seven days a week, in addition to routine, timely services every day of the week.
5. Maintaining up-to-date records for each resident that include:
The resident’s age, diagnoses, weight, medical conditions, allergies to medications, diet and other relevant information;
All medications dispensed to the resident.
6. Screening of new medication orders, based on resident and other pertinent variables, for:
Appropriate indication or diagnosis;
Interactions with other medications;
Duplications of therapy with other drugs in the same therapeutic class;
Appropriate dosage, dosing interval and route of administration.
7. Discussion of matters which the pharmacist, in their professional judgment and in alignment with laws and regulations, identifies as significant with the resident, family member/responsible party or your staff.
8. Reporting of problems related to products and medications to the appropriate agencies.
If your resident's current pharmacy does not comply with these regulations, they should consider using an alternate pharmacy provider.