As of January 1, 2021, Wisconsin’s Pharmacy Examining Board has put new rules into effect regarding patient consultations for pharmacies and pharmacists throughout the state. It is important for licensed pharmacists to take note of these new requirements and be sure to uphold them, as failing to do so can result in disciplinary action regarding a pharmacist’s professional license.
When Are Patient Consultations Required?
The intended purpose of the new regulations for patient consultations is to better ensure that a person who is prescribed a drug or device understands how to use it properly. As such, a consultation is now required when patients are prescribed a drug or device that they have not previously used or that constitutes a change in the patient’s treatment or therapy. Pharmacists must also provide a consultation in any case when it is requested by the patient, and they may choose to provide a consultation when they believe, in their own professional judgment, that it is necessary to do so. However, a patient can refuse a consultation, in which case it is no longer required.
When a consultation is necessary, the pharmacist should determine whether it is in the patient’s best interest to provide it verbally (i.e., in person or by phone or video conference), or whether it can be effectively communicated in writing. In either case, the consultation should cover information including:
- The name of the drug or device and a description of its intended use and effects
- Instructions regarding proper dosage and administration, including what to do if a dose is missed
- Warnings regarding common side effects and interactions with other medications, along with advice for avoiding or responding to these issues
- Instructions for proper storage and disposal of the medication
- Recommendations for self-monitoring the course of therapy
The new regulations also include requires every licensed pharmacy dispensing directly to a patient to conspicuously post a sign approved by the Pharmacy Examining Board (Board) that states a patient’s right to a pharmacist consultation and information on how to file a complaint to the Board. If a prescription is dispensed via mail, a delivery service, or picked up at a drive-through window, the patient must be provided a copy of information, which is approved by the Board, stating a patient’s right to a pharmacist’s consultation and information on how to file a complaint with the Board.
Contact a Milwaukee County Pharmacy License Defense Attorney
If a patient files a complaint related to these new regulations, you may face an investigation and disciplinary action, including the possible suspension or revocation of your pharmacist license. At Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP, our experienced attorneys can help you respond to complaints and investigations and protect your license so that you can continue to practice. Contact a Milwaukee professional license defense lawyer today at 414-271-1440.