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Ethical and Legal Implications of Prescribing Drugs

Ethical and Legal Implications of Prescribing Drugs

Section 5(a) of the FTC Act asserts that the deceptive or unfair acts or practices that affect or are part of commerce are unlawful. These acts include involving foreign commerce that causes or may cause reasonably foreseeable injury in the US or involve conduct that takes place in the US. Deceptive practices are those involving material omission, representation, or practice that can mislead a consumer to act unreasonably in the circumstances. An act is deemed to be unfair if it results or is likely to result in substantial injury to the consumer, which is not reasonably avoidable by the consumers and is not outweighed by the consumers’ countervailing benefits or to the competition (Federal Government, n.d). In this case scenario, the NP knows that the prescription drugs, being expensive, are an unfair act to the consumers when other alternatives may be pursued. The expensive medication is costly to the patient, a risk to the patient’s health, and has a negative implication on the healthcare facility because non-adherence to medication will cause the patients to make return visits that can be avoided otherwise.

Strategies to Address Disclosure and Nondisclosure

As mentioned above, the law requires that there is no deception and unfairness when prescribing medication drugs. The NP should raise the issue with the healthcare facility as to why the patients are prescribed expensive drugs when cheaper options are available. Although this may seem unfair to the drug manufacturing companies and the pharmacists that stock the drugs, the patient should be the center of focus. When a patient’s health deteriorates because of their inability to afford expensive drugs, then the healthcare facility and the healthcare systems fail in its ethical duty of non-maleficence and beneficence. Lastly, the law requires that a patient should be given the right medicine, at the right time, at the right dose, and in the fourth formulation

Two Strategies That Can Be Used to Guide Your Decision Making

The first strategy is to establish whether the patients have medical insurance coverage. Most times, disease conditions will have more than one medication option. Insurance companies use drug formularies that give specifications they prefer to put the cost at a minimum. Sometimes it is easier for patients to switch to an insurance formulary than to remain with an expensive prescription. This option given to the patients will help them save hundreds of dollars in medication and subsequently improve their medication adherence.

The second strategy will be to prescribe generic drugs to the patients, which are almost always nearly preferred by insurance companies. Generics have been proven to be as effective as the originals. Although the inactive ingredients may vary, the same production standards and requirements will treat the condition similar to the originals (Simsek, Meijer, van Bodegraven, de Boer et al., 2018). Thus, the NP should look into prescribing generics wherever possible for patients finding it difficult to purchase drugs.

Process of Writing Prescriptions, Including Strategies to Minimize Medication Errors.

When a patient asks the physician to prescribe medication based on cost, it raises the ethical question of whether it compromises the physician’s ability to prescribe without risking the patient’s health. Prescribing a patient with a drug that is too costly for the patient to afford is also unethical. Thus, the option remains that effectiveness is the predominant deciding factor. A physician will thus find out a patient’s insurance coverage before prescribing drugs. The physician will also check if the insurance covers formulary prescriptions. Next, the physician will recommend to the patient the cheapest pharmacy where they can access either the formulary prescription or generics. As long as the prescription drugs are as effective as the original, then the physician has fulfilled his duty of beneficence (Mello, 2017).


Federal Government (n.d). Federal Trade Commission Act Section 5: Unfair or Deceptive Acts or Practices.

Mello, M. M. (2017). What makes ensuring access to affordable prescription drugs the hardest problem in health policy. Minn. L. Rev.102, 2273.

Simsek, M., Meijer, B., van Bodegraven, A. A., de Boer, N. K., & Mulder, C. J. (2018). Finding hidden treasures in old drugs: the challenges and importance of licensing generics. Drug discovery today23(1), 17-21.


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Ethical and Legal Implications of Prescribing Drugs

What type of drug should you prescribe based on your patient’s diagnosis? How much of the drug should the patient receive? How often should the drug be administered? When should the drug not be prescribed? Are there individual patient factors that could create complications when taking the drug? Should you be prescribing drugs to this patient? How might different state regulations affect the prescribing of this drug to this patient?

These are some of the questions you might consider when selecting a treatment plan for a patient.

As an advanced practice nurse prescribing drugs, you are held accountable for people’s lives every day. Patients and their families will often place trust in you because of your position. With this trust comes power and responsibility, as well as an ethical and legal obligation to “do no harm.” It is important that you are aware of current professional, legal, and ethical standards for advanced practice nurses with prescriptive authority. Additionally, it is important to ensure that the treatment plans and administration/prescribing of drugs is in accordance with the regulations of the state in which you practice. Understanding how these regulations may affect the prescribing of certain drugs in different states may have a significant impact on your patient’s treatment plan. In this Assignment, you explore ethical and legal implications of scenarios and consider how to appropriately respond.

During your lunch break at the hospital, you read a journal article on pharmacoeconomics. You think of a couple of patients who have recently mentioned their financial difficulties. You wonder if some of the expensive drugs you have prescribed are sufficiently managing the patient’s health conditions and improving their quality of life.To Prepare

  • Review the Resources for this module and consider the legal and ethical implications of prescribing prescription drugs, disclosure, and nondisclosure.
  • Review the scenario assigned by your Instructor for this Assignment. (See above)
  • Search specific laws and standards for prescribing prescription drugs and for addressing medication errors for your state or region, and reflect on these as you review the scenario assigned by your Instructor.
  • Consider the ethical and legal implications of the scenario for all stakeholders involved, such as the prescriber, pharmacist, patient, and patient’s family.
  • Think about two strategies that you, as an advanced practice nurse, would use to guide your ethically and legally responsible decision-making in this scenario, including whether you would disclose any medication errors.

    Ethical and Legal Implications of Prescribing Drugs-

    Ethical and Legal Implications of Prescribing Drugs-

By Day 7 of Week 1
Write a 2- to 3-page paper that addresses the following:

  1. Explain the ethical and legal implications of the scenario you selected on all stakeholders involved, such as the prescriber, pharmacist, patient, and patient’s family.
  2. Describe strategies to address disclosure and nondisclosure as identified in the scenario you selected. Be sure to reference laws specific to your state.
  3. Explain two strategies that you, as an advanced practice nurse, would use to guide your decision-making in this scenario, including whether you would disclose your error. Be sure to justify your explanation.
  4. Explain the process of writing prescriptions, including strategies to minimize medication errors.
Please also include short introductory and conclusion paragraphs

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