If you are concerned about the way a pharmacist practices, you may take one or more of the following steps:
Talk with the pharmacist about your concerns. In most cases she/he will want to know that you are dissatisfied with the type of service received.
Talk with the pharmacy manager about your situation, for they, too, want satisfied patients who will recommend their services.
If you are unable to receive satisfaction from the above efforts or if you feel it is inappropriate to do (1) and/or (2), contact the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy to discuss your concerns. If the Board is able to be of assistance, you will receive complaint form. To initiate a formal review, complete the form, and return the packet to the Board.
It is the legal responsibility of the pharmacist to determine the legal validity of a prescription and ensure the prescription is clinically appropriate for the patient. A pharmacist may refuse to fill or refill a prescription if, in the pharmacist’s professional judgement, there is a question as to the drug’s safety and/or efficacy. In making this determination, pharmacists rely on various sources of clinical evidence including but not limited to; data from controlled clinical trials supporting the use of a drug for a particular diagnosis, recommendations from public health agencies such as the FDA and CDC, and by conducting a prospective drug utilization review as required by Minn. Rules 6800.3110, subp. 4. Typically, when questions or concerns arise, the pharmacist will discuss the concern with the physician and the patient. The intent is not to undermine the physician-patient relationship but to ensure the medication will not harm the patient.
The FDA has not approved ivermectin for treating COVID-19. Furthermore, both the FDA and CDC continue to warn against the use of ivermectin for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19 since it has not been sufficiently tested. Ivermectin is approved for the treatment of intestinal conditions caused by certain parasitic worms and, in topical formulation, certain external parasites. Veterinary formulations are approved to treat certain internal and external parasites, but not to treat any condition in humans. FDA emphasizes that taking large doses of ivermectin is dangerous. And no reliable studies support the safety or efficacy of ivermectin in the treatment or prevention of COVID-19. More information from FDA is found here.
The United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued an alert on August 26, 2021 noting a sharp rise in serious illness associated with ingestion of ivermectin products (human and veterinary) for purported treatment or prevention of COVID-19. Severe gastrointestinal and neurotoxic effects are being reported. Like the FDA, the CDC emphasizes that ivermectin is not approved for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19, no reliable studies support its use in the treatment or prevention of COVID-19, and improper use is dangerous. More information from CDC is found here.
The Board regulates the practice of pharmacy in order to protect public health and safety. It works to ensure that pharmacists are practicing in accordance with state and Federal laws, statutes, and rules. Additionally, the Board is required to investigate all jurisdictional complaints against the individuals and businesses that it regulates. If you have concerns about the way a pharmacist or pharmacy practices, you may fill out and submit a complaint form for formal review. If the complaint alleges a violation of the Minnesota's Pharmacy Practice Act, the complaint will be investigated. However, the Board cannot take action against a pharmacist or pharmacy unless there is sufficient evidence to show that the pharmacist or pharmacy violated Minnesota's Pharmacy Practice Act. The Board must thoroughly review each complaint before it takes any action.
The board can only take action against a pharmacy or pharmacist's state issued license. It can not help you to recover money from a pharmacy or pharmacist. The board can only take action against pharmacists or pharmacies. It can not help you with problems regarding any other health care professional such as physicians or nurses. The board can not help you with any billing or collection problems.
Yes. The board's complaint review process begins when the board receives your completed complaint packet. By completing the form you are providing the documentation the board's staff needs to begin its investigation.
First, the board's staff gathers information from a variety of sources, starting with the information you include in your complaint. The staff will gather records, collect data, and may interview those involved. You may be asked to sign a release of information form to allow the board to obtain your records. Signing this release will speed up the handling of your complaint. If it is appropriate, the staff will also obtain a response from the pharmacist or pharmacy involved in the complaint. When the information gathering is completed, the board's Committee on Professional Standards will review the facts of the complaint and decide whether to take action against the pharmacist or pharmacy involved.
During the review process the board will protect your identity, unless you consent to have it disclosed. Disclosing your identity can, however, assist the board in investigating your complaint, since pharmacists and pharmacies must respond to specific complaints rather than to general accusations.
The board staff will contact you when the review process is complete and the board has made a decision about your complaint. If you happen to have any questions before you have been contact, you may contact the board at any time.
The board can not take action against a pharmacist or pharmacy unless there is sufficient evidence to show that the pharmacist or pharmacy violated Minnesota's Pharmacy Practice Act. The board must thoroughly review each complaint before it takes any action.
The Board of Pharmacy has nine members including six pharmacists and three members of the general public, all appointed by the Governor. The board is supported by a professional staff. The staff and the board work closely with attorneys from the Minnesota Attorney General's Office when reviewing complaints against pharmacists or pharmacies. Pharmacists and pharmacies under investigation are required, by law, to cooperate with the board and its staff.