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Pharmacists with an SUD could lose their license

On Behalf of | Apr 9, 2021 | Medical Licensing

Pennsylvania pharmacists who work long hours and experience stress may find themselves turning to drugs intended for other uses for relief. If an administrative investigation occurs, their professional licensure may be at risk. 

According to Pharmacy Practice News, one in 10 pharmacy professionals suffers from a substance use disorder at some point during their life. 

Signs of an SUD

This disease affects an individual’s brain and behavior, often leading to an inability to control the use of medication or drugs. Over time, drug use increases. Symptoms include the following: 

  • Needing more of the drug over time to get the same effect 
  • Making sure the drug supply remains steady 
  • Feeling the need to use the drug one or more times a day 
  • Experiencing withdrawal when not taking the substance as usual 
  • Taking unusual steps that ensure access to the drug 

The Mayo Clinic reports that the addiction risk and how fast a person becomes addicted varies based on what becomes the drug of choice. From club drugs and barbiturates to opiates, pharmacists who use drugs regularly and without a prescription may temporarily or permanently lose their license. 

Types of prescription drug fraud

Clinical drug diversion is one of the most common methods used for diverting drugs from their intended use.  It includes creating fake medication orders for personal use, falsifying orders that hide missing medications and tampering with invoices, records or inventory. 

Some patients may have automatic refills on prescriptions that they did not request. As a result, they never pick them up. Pharmacists may have a refill scheme that fills the prescription and then uses the never picked up medications. 

Substance use disorders can result in a pharmacist losing their license and facing criminal charges. Understanding the situation and defending their license with the advocacy of an attorney is crucial to minimizing the consequences and getting the help they need.