Pharmacists' Prescribing Duties

Secundum Artem Reaching Pharmacists with Help (SARPH) is the PHMP program for pharmacists. SARPH's requirements of cooperation and the internal mechanism of the program are exactly the same as those of the Voluntary Recovery Program (VRP).

By both state and federal law, pharmacists have a responsibility to properly investigate the prescription medications they are filling. You may not fill a prescription if you are aware or have reasonable suspicion that the substance will be misused or distributed to someone other than the intended recipient.

You also have a duty to withhold prescriptions if you have a legitimate reason to question their origin. If you dispense a substance despite knowing it is not being used for medical reasons, you could face legal consequences. See "Corresponding Responsibility" discussion.

The VRP And Its Consequences

VRPs are problematic and could hold significant consequences for your career. They entice professionals to enroll without disclosing full information about the process or how it could affect you. Problems with the program include:

  • High cost
  • Mandatory in-patient treatment
  • Weekly drug tests
  • Workplace monitoring
  • Required approval for job interviews

Enrolling in a VRP is admittance to alcohol or drug abuse, even if your record only shows one instance such as a single DUI charge. The program can trap professionals into an expensive and arduous process and prevent them from seeking other career opportunities unless a VRP administrator approves.

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Our team at Hark and Hark has seen countless comments from professionals trapped in VRPs about regret over not consulting a lawyer before enrolling. The VRP uses scare tactics or subtle forms of persuasion to try to entice professionals. We recognize that you may be scared about your losing your job if you do not enroll but we recommend you talk to an attorney first.

Do Not Jeopardize Your Career

If you are facing issues from SARPH or are being asked to enroll in a VRP, let us discuss your options with you. You do not want to jeopardize your entire career because of a misunderstanding about the legal implications of your situation.

Call 215-665-0766 or contact us online to schedule an appointment. We serve clients in Philadelphia, King of Prussia and Cherry Hill and the surrounding areas.