April 02, 2020
Area(s) of Interest: Licensing & Regulatory Issues Drug Prescribing/Dispensing
The California Medical Association (CMA) applauds the innumerable selfless acts by health care professionals across the nation and the world who are fighting on the front lines during this public health emergency. Your sacrifice and commitment to the health of California, our nation and the world is unparalleled and will never be forgotten.
According to the Medical Board of California, there have been reports of a few prescribers wrongfully hoarding and prescribing for themselves and family members certain medications referenced in the media relating to COVID-19. As a result, several states—though not California—have recently issued emergency restrictions on how the drugs can be dispensed. Many require that medications be prescribed and dispensed only to patients with a legitimate and current medical condition.
The California Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA), the Medical Board of California and the California State Board of Pharmacy issued a statement on Thursday reminding physicians and other prescribers that inappropriately prescribing or dispensing medications constitutes unprofessional conduct in California.
The American Medical Association, American Pharmacists Association and American Society of Health-System Pharmacists also jointly issued a statement, reiterating that physicians’ and pharmacists’ first and foremost ethical obligation in situations of epidemic, disaster or terrorism is to provide urgent medical care and ensure availability and appropriate use of necessary medications. This requires close coordination with the entire health care team to help ensure patients receive the testing, treatments, follow-up care and medications they need.