FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
PODIATRISTS AND DRUG PRESCRIPTIONS
1. Does the patient have a right to a written prescription on request, to take to a pharmacy ?
Yes. Patients are entitled to a written prescription on request and should be informed of their options for filling prescriptions.
As well, patients should be cautioned against using unregulated on-line pharmacies. Ultimately, the patient has the right to take a prescription to whatever source they choose.
A prescription for treatment, whether pharmaceutical or otherwise, is part of the medical information generated during the course of dealing with a patient; as such, that information belongs on the medical file, and the patient is entitled to that information, both in the form of a copy of the file as well as a written script that they may fill where ever they choose.
2. Does a podiatrist have the right to examine a patient before they issue a new prescription or a re-fill ?
Yes. A podiatrist has the obligation to practise to the standard expected of a competent and ethical practitioner. In most cases basic ethics require that a practitioner be satisfied upon their own inquiry that a particular drug prescription is warranted for the patient.
Podiatrists deal with a vast number of medical conditions and drugs. It is a matter of medical judgment – which in every case is for the podiatrist – as to whether they should examine the patient before issuing or renewing a prescription.
The practitioner’s decision will turn on many factors in each particular case, including whether there are any possible contra-indications of any particular drugs; the general health and other medical issues of the patient; what other pharmaceuticals the patient might be taking that could interact harmfully with the new drug; whether the patient should be checked first for any negative effects of the drug from long term.