Article by Wesley Sparkmon, MPH, CPhT, Pharmacy Times

“Verifying prescription accuracy may be the most important step in the prescription filling process.

Validating a legitimate prescription is the critical step in ensuring the appropriate supply and distribution of medications through the proper channels. Advances have been made to minimize prescription forgery via tamper-resistant and specially made prescription pads and electronic prescribing. However, regulations in some states limit the types of medications that can be prescribed electronically, most notably controlled substances. Because of this, pharmacists must educate all employees on what information to look for when discerning the validity of prescriptions, primarily those for controlled substances.

Ultimately, the decision regarding whether a new prescription is valid comes down to the pharmacist’s professional judgment. However, because of the pharmacy technician’s time and interactions with new prescriptions through the initial data entry process, pharmacists can involve techs in identifying red flags that call into question the validity of new prescriptions. In this way, techs serve as additional filters and important aides to pharmacists in mitigating improper medication use.

Although pharmacists spend large portions of entire ethics and law courses on the elements of valid prescriptions, techs typically have not received as much exposure to this concept.”

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