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Chapter 10. Legal Aspects of Drug Information Practice

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All of the following would result in holding the pharmacist providing drug information to a higher standard except:

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a. The pharmacist wears a pin stating, “Ask me: I am the medication expert.”

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b. The drug information query pertains to oncology and the pharmacist is a Board Certified Oncology Pharmacist (BCOP).

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c. The pharmacist knows the patient has previously had anaphylaxis from penicillin and ceftriaxone is prescribed.

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d. The pharmacist is the Drug Information Coordinator.

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e. The pharmacist is aware that the patient has severely impaired renal function and gentamicin is prescribed.

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In which of the following scenarios would tort liability attach to the provision of drug information if harm occurs:

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a. A 1-year-old patient has been prescribed ketorolac for 7 days. The pharmacist contacts the prescriber to notify them that the duration of therapy should not exceed 5 days. However, for children less than 2 years of age, treatment should not exceed 3 days.

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b. The patient received the erythropoiesis-stimulating agent (ESA), epoetin alfa for an oncologic indication and developed a serious adverse drug reaction. Since the prescriber is not enrolled in the REMS program, the patient consequently never received the Medication Guide warning of the risk of the event and did not provide informed consent.

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c. A patient with preexisting QT prolongation receives a 32-mg single dose of ondansetron intravenously. The maximum single dose has been lowered by the FDA to 16 mg. When a drug information query is received about whether to order the drug in dextrose 5% in water or normal saline, the pharmacist reviews the patient’s profile and the medication order and fails to mention that the dose should be divided into 16 mg every 12 hours.

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d. a and b only

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e. a, b, and c

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Which of the following drug information scenarios may result in vicarious liability?

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a. The pharmacist undertakes to warn the patient about the adverse effects from simvastatin but fails to warn of myopathy.

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b. The pharmacist is too busy to counsel the patient on the warning against sunbathing while on doxycycline. He or she instructs the pharmacy technician to counsel the patient instead. The technician tells the patient not to take a bath while taking the drug. The patient goes to the beach and harm results.

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