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Consumer Information


The Oregon Board of Pharmacy was created in 1891. By licensing pharmacists, it ensures that only qualified people practice pharmacy in Oregon. The Board registers and inspects retail and hospital pharmacies and stores that sell over-the-counter drugs. It also registers and inspects drug wholesalers and manufacturers, and regulates the quality and distribution of all drugs in Oregon.

The Oregon State Board of Pharmacy consists of seven members. Five of these members are licensed pharmacists and two are representatives of the public. Members are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the state Senate to serve a four-year term on the Board, and they may be reappointed.

What is the Board's purpose?
The Oregon Board of Pharmacy has the responsibility to regulate the practice of pharmacy and enforce the laws pertaining to drug outlets, licensed pharmacy personnel, drug distribution and the sale of drugs, within the state of Oregon.

How does the Board accomplish its purpose?
Regulation is accomplished through the following:
•Licensing of individuals.
•Registration and inspection of hospital and retail pharmacies, drug/device wholesalers and manufacturers, and over-the-counter outlets.
•Investigation of drug diversion and fraud.
•Investigation of rule violations.
•Regulation of the quality and distribution of drugs within the state.

Who does the Board regulate?
The Board regulates the Practice of Pharmacy and enforces laws regarding pharmacists, drug outlets and the sale of drugs in Oregon.
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How does the Board resolve complaints against licensees (pharmacists, pharmacies, technicians, retail stores, wholesalers, manufacturers)?
The resolution of a compliant may include: a Letter of concern, civil penalty, additional continuing education, suspension or revocation of license. For some complaints, there may be no violation of pharmacy laws and rules found, there may not be enough information to substantiate a violation of pharmacy laws and rules or the compliant may be an issue that does not fall into the Board’s jurisdiction. How do I file a complaint with the Board?
Complaint process:
The Board Inspectors investigate every complaint. Once a complaint is received in the Board via mail, fax or phone, it is assigned to a Pharmacy Inspector. The Pharmacy Inspector will then contact the complainant for more information if needed and the individual or outlet that the compliant is about. Once all information is received, the complaint will be reported to the Board. If necessary, discipline will be proposed. Once the case is closed, a letter notifying the complainant will be sent. Will I be told of the status and resolution of my complaint? Board staff does not send status updates for the complaint. The complainant will be sent a letter after the case is closed informing them of the resolution.
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What are the general responsibilities of a Pharmacist?
ORS 689.025 states that "the practice of pharmacy in the State of Oregon is declared a health care professional practice affecting the public health, safety and welfare". Pharmacy practice is a dynamic patient-oriented health service that applies a scientific body of knowledge to improve and promote patient health by means of appropriate drug use, drug-related therapy, and communication for clinical and consultative purposes. A pharmacist licensed to practice pharmacy by the Board has the duty to use that degree of care, skill, diligence and professional judgment that is exercised by an ordinarily careful pharmacist in the same or similar circumstances.

Why is it important to have a primary pharmacy?
In today's healthcare environment, patients are seen by a multitude of healthcare professionals, including their primary care doctor, medical specialists, urgent care facility and emergency room personnel and dental professionals to name a few. The potential for duplication of active ingredients or drug interactions increase with the addition of each healthcare professional care we are under. Having your pharmacy records in one data bank drastically reduces the potential for drug interactions and duplication through drug utilization review and pharmacist counseling.
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MEDICATIONS: Filling & Dispensing

Can a pharmacist fill a prescription based solely on an internet questionnaire?
No, the prescriber and patient must have a valid patient/prescriber relationship which usually includes a physical exam.

Can a pharmacist refuse to fill a prescription?
Yes, but pharmacists should use professional judgment including awareness of the position papers that the Board has regarding moral and ethical objections and pain management. The pharmacist cannot be a barrier to access.

What should someone do if their regular medication looks different (i.e. different color or shape)?
Verify that the medication matches the description on the product identification on the label.

When can an emergency medication supply be given and what quantity can be given?
Up to a 72 hour emergency supply can be given on non-controlled medications that the patient is currently taking, when no refills remain and while awaiting the prescriber's authorization.

Does Oregon law limit the initial quantity of drug dispensed for a prescription medication? No.

Can a pharmacy take back prescriptions after they are dispensed to the patient?
If an error is made on a scheduled medication or if it is a nonscheduled medication, the pharmacy may take it back for destruction only. 

What should patients look for when receiving a prescription medication?
Always accept the offer to speak to a pharmacist on each new prescription (Pharmacists are required to provide counseling upon request by the patient and are required to make an offer to counsel on each new prescription).
  •  Look at the label:
    • Is this your medication?
    • Does your name appear on the label?
    • Is it the right medication?
  • Open the bottle:
    • If it looks different ask the pharmacist why?
    • Be familiar with both brand and generic names of your medication.
    • Know the size, shape and color of your medication.
  • Be sure you know the purpose and dose of your medication and, how often you should be taking it and whether you should take it with or without food.
  • Ask if there are any side effects, or whether you should avoid any activities, foods or other medications (like supplements or over the counter remedies).
  • Ask what you should do if you miss a dose (often dangerous to double up). Pill reminders are often helpful.
  • Try to get all your medications at the same pharmacy to enable the pharmacist to cross-check your records for medication interactions.
  • Tell your pharmacist what other medications you are taking, including herbal remedies.

Questions to Ask Your Pharmacist
Your health care provider prescribes your medication, but you must take the medicine correctly to obtain the benefits. Adverse reactions have a variety of causes but may have the potential to be avoided by sharing essential information with your pharmacist. Having conversations each time you go to the pharmacy will increase the likelihood that your prescribed medicine will be taken properly, allowing the medications to be safer and more effective. Take the following questions to your pharmacist:

• Are you aware of the other medications, vitamins, or supplements I am taking?
• Do you know of my existing conditions, allergies, or previous reactions to certain drugs?
• What should I avoid while on this medication?
• When and how do I take this medication?
• What are the common and serious side effects to this drug?
• Where should I store my medication?
• What if I miss a dose?
• Must I finish it, or can I stop when I'm feeling better?
• Is there more information I can take home with me?
Product Identification Label (PIL)

Information required on CS prescription (from DEA):
A prescription for a controlled substance must include the following information:
• Date of issue;
• Patient’s name and address;
• Practitioner’s name, address, and DEA registration number;
• Drug name;
• Drug strength;
• Dosage form;
• Quantity prescribed;
• Directions for use;
• Number of refills (if any) authorized; and
• Manual signature of prescriber.
A prescription must be written in ink or indelible pencil or typewritten and must be manually signed by the practitioner.
An individual may be designated by the practitioner to prepare the prescriptions for his/her signature. The practitioner is responsible for making sure that the prescription conforms in all essential respects to the law and regulation.
Prescriptions for schedule II controlled substances must be written and be signed by the practitioner. In emergency situations, a prescription for a schedule II controlled substance may be telephoned to the pharmacy and the prescriber must follow up with a written prescription being sent to the pharmacy within seven days.
Prescriptions for schedules III through V controlled substances may by written, oral or transmitted by fax.
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MEDICATION: Counseling

Q: Why is it important for a pharmacist to counsel me?
A: Pharmacists are healthcare professionals who are trained in the chemical structure of medication. Speaking with a pharmacist can avoid potential duplication or contradiction of drug therapy, errors in medication dosage; along with provide information regarding what medication and foods that can interfere with your drug therapy.
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The National Association of Board's of Pharmacy Guide to buying medications online: http://www.nabp.net/programs/consumer-protection/buying-medicine-online

How can someone feel reasonably confident that a particular internet pharmacy is legitimate?
The website should have a VIPPS (verified internet provider practice site) symbol on it which means that the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy has inspected them and determined that they are a legitimate internet pharmacy provider. 


Drug Facts and Information

Drugs, Supplements, and Herbal Information (why prescribed, side effects, etc)


DEA List of controlled substances:


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Medication Safety Video:
Natural Dietary Supplements: They're Safe Right? – video
AWARxE – Get informed about the dangers of prescription drugs
FDA’s Safe Use Initiative: Preventing Harm from Medicines
FDA consumer website:
FDA’s Pathway to Global Product Safety and Quality Report: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/AboutFDA/CentersOffices/OC/GlobalProductPathway/UCM259845.pdf
Drug Safety and Availability (drug alerts, medication guides, drug shortages, Med errors, recalls):
Information for Consumers (FAQ’s, buying and using medication safely): http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/default.htm
Medication safety in your home:
Help Prevent Medication Errors
OBOP patient safety:
Oregon Patient Safety Commission
Safe Medication.com (medication list, tips and tools)
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Drugs, Supplements, and Herbal Information (why prescribed, side effects, etc)
DEA drug fact Sheets:
List of controlled substances: DEA
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Reporting of potential counterfeit drugs:
Q: Who should a severe medication adverse event be reported to?
A: Medwatch -
Flu information
The Mayo Clinic
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State laws regulating the practice of pharmacy in Oregon fall into two categories:

STATUTES are laws which have been enacted by a vote of the legislature. Only the Oregon Legislature may change the Oregon Revised Statutes. The Oregon Board of Pharmacy has the responsibility for implementing and regulating Chapters 475 and 689 of the Oregon Statutes.

RULES, on the other hand, are written by the Board of Pharmacy. Rules are required to be supported by a statute. Rules typically are less general and more specific to a particular situation.

Licensees of the Board of Pharmacy are guided by and required to comply with Oregon Statutes (Chapters 475 and 689) and Administrative Rules (Chapter 855). Those who violate these codes are subject to disciplinary action. Discipline is considered carefully on a case-by-case basis by Board Members.

Complaints can originate from consumers, another pharmacist, a prescriber, a technician, an employer, or anyone else. If you believe a violation might have occurred, you may wish to file a complaint with the Board.

To order a CD containing the Oregon Board of Pharmacy Laws & Rules, click here.
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