Ethics is defined as ‘code of moral principles’. It emphasizes on the determination of right or wrong while doing one’s duty.
Code of Pharmaceutical Ethics as formulated by Pharmacy Council of India which are meant to guide the pharmacist as to how he should conduct himself (or herself), in relation to himself (or herself), his / her patrons (owner of the pharmacy), general public, co-professionals etc. and patients.
Profession of Pharmacy is a noble profession as it is indirectly healing the persons to get well with the help of medical practitioners and other co-professionals. Government has restricted the practice of Pharmacy to only Profession Pharmacists i.e registered Pharmacist under the Pharmacy Act 1948. PCI framed the following ethics for Indian Pharmacists, which may be categorized under the following headings:
A pharmacist should keep the following things in relation to his job.
Pharmacy premises (medicine shops) should b e registered. Emergency medicines and common medicines should be supplied to the patients without any delay.
(ii)Conduct of the Pharmacy
Error of accidental contamination in the preparation, dispensing and supply of medicines should be checked in a pharmacy.
(iii)Handling of Prescription
A pharmacist should receive a prescription without any comment on it that may cause anxiety to the patient. No part of the prescription should be changed without the consent of the prescriber. In case of changing the prescription should be referred back to the prescriber.
(iv)Handling of drugs
A prescription should always be dispensed correctly and carefully with standard quality drug or excipients. Drugs that have abusive potential should not be supplied to any one.
Experienced pharmacists should provide all the facilities for practical training of the apprentice pharmacists. Until and unless the apprentice proves himself or herself certificate should not be granted to him / her.
Following are the provisions which pharmacist should keep in mind while dealing with his trade:
The prices charged should be fair keeping with the quality, quantity and labour or skill required.
(ii)Fair trade practice
Fair practice should be adopted by a pharmacist in the trade without any attempt to capture other pharmacist’s business.
If a customer brings a prescription (by mistake) which should be genuinely by some other pharmacy the pharmacist should refuse to accept the prescription.
Imitation of copying of the labels, trade marks and other signs or symbols of other pharmacy should not be done.
(iii)Purchase of drugs
Pharmacists should buy drugs from genuine and reputable sources.
(iv)Advertising and Displays
The sale of medicines or medical appliances or display of materials in undignified style on the premises, in the press or elsewhere are prohibited.
Pharmacist in relation to medical profession
Following are the code of ethics of a pharmacist in relation to medical profession:
(i)Limitation of professional activity
The professional activity of the medical practitioner as well as the pharmacists should be confined to their own field only.
Medical practitioners should not possess drugs stores and pharmacists should not diagnose diseases and prescribe remedies.
A pharmacist may, however, can deliver first aid to the victim incase of accident or emergency.
A pharmacist should not enter into a secret arrangement or contract with a physician by offering him any commission or any advantages.
(iii)Liasion with public.
A pharmacist should always maintain proper link between physicians and people. He should advise the physicians on pharmaceutical matters and should educate the people regarding heath and hygiene. The pharmacist should be keep himself / herself up-to-date with pharmaceutical knowledge from various journals or publications.
Any information acquired by a pharmacist during his professional activities should not be disclosed to any third party until and unless required to do so by law.