Pharmacy ethics and corporate economic objectives

February 10, 2015

Without either element, product and profits suffer. Pharmacists get it. But do their bosses?

Integrity of character and ethical behavior are indispensable to the profession of pharmacy. Corporations spend significant amounts on manpower development because they recognize the potential harm to their business operations that may result from employee ignorance, negligence, or sabotage.

Beyond the very stiff sanctions prescribed by federal and state laws against acts of omission/commission in the provision of pharmacy dispensing services in the United States, company leaders are also aware that inappropriate employee conduct in matters of ethics may ruin the public image of the organization, attract significant fines, and damage business goals.

See also: Human resource considerations in community pharmacy

Not just the money

Pharmacy has never been a profession for “gold-diggers.” It is an occupation for people who have genuine compassion and concern for those who need pharmaceutical care in their quest for good health.

Human resources recruitment is a service critical to the future of pharmacy and to the survival of corporations in this economic sector. Pharmacy recruiters must be dedicated to the well-being of the patients who ultimately will be served. Therefore it is important that this area of activity receive some form of scrutiny or regulation by federal and state departments of health, to prevent the emergence of unscrupulous elements who might be after pecuniary gain or involved in clandestine businesses with criminal intents, which could pose real dangers to the health of the populace and to the welfare of pharmacists and related personnel.

See also: Pharmacy supervisors: Credit where credit is due

All healthcare providers

This message applies not only to pharmacy staff recruitment and training; it applies equally to other healthcare personnel, including nurses, physicians, dental surgeons, ophthalmologists, podiatrists, ENT surgeons, and physiotherapists.

Across the board, there must be no clandestine, sinister, parochial motives in the employment of healthcare providers; similarly, only people of proven integrity should be permitted to serve in recruitment firms/agencies that are engaged in manpower recruiting for the health sector. Just as the importation of fake drugs into this country poses a danger to the health of its people, and just as the widespread use of unregulated internet pharmacies from unscrupulous sources poses a danger to naïve consumers, so unscrupulous individuals can compromise the delivery of healthcare services.

The onus lies on concerned professionals - pharmacists, medical doctors, dentists, etc. - to creatively assess and protect Americans from any potential harm to their health.

 

Human values are business values

In summary, it is important for corporations in the healthcare industry to recognize that:

1.     Employee training, recruitment, and supervision are critical elements in the survival/profitability of an organization.

2.     Employee demeanor or misdemeanor, knowing or unknowing, can adversely affect the business goals and objectives of the organization.

3.     A diligent, dedicated, honest, and well-educated workforce will have a positive effect on the corporation’s image, attracting more business.

4.     Declining gross profits and unfavorable government sanctions/fines may be effectively prevented through careful attention to employee needs and recruitment.

5.     Expensive budget allocations to corporate advertising may not translate into business profits if by their behavior employees are sabotaging the business objectives of the corporation.

6.     Poor accessibility to skilled manpower will result in business losses if the existing procedures and modus operandi hamper a smooth delivery of professional services.

7.     It is more efficient and profitable to have a sufficiency of skilled manpower available at a moderate cost overall than to have a small population of overpaid personnel who are stretched beyond effectiveness.

Best practices

Pharmacists by their professional training and orientation are well equipped to meet the public’s need for healthcare, particularly in the areas of prescription dispensing and drug information services. Their professional skills should be carefully adapted to the business operations of the corporate body without jeopardy to their professional ethics or harm to the economic objective of the organizations they serve.