Cebu Pharmacists Association backs pharmacist in viral video

Cebu Pharmacists Association backs pharmacist in viral video
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A CEBU-BASED group of pharmacists expressed support to the actions of a colleague who was involved in a viral incident, emphasizing the crucial role of professional standards in dispensing prescription medicines.

This came after a viral video circulated online, showing a pharmacist denying a customer's purchase of maintenance medicine without a prescription in Cebu City.

Cebu Pharmacists Association Inc., in a statement on Tuesday night, April 23, 2024, praised the pharmacist for demonstrating "professionalism and competence" in insisting on a physician's prescription.

The group emphasized that prescription medicines, or those labeled with Rx, must only be dispensed by pharmacists upon presentation of a prescription from a physician, dentist, or veterinarian.

"He acted responsibly in the best interest of the patient and did not deserve being subjected to social media shaming. We will continue to uphold our commitment to patient safety and professional excellence," the group said.

Viral encounter

In a now-deleted viral video, the customer confronted a pharmacist after it refused to sell Irbesartan, a prescription drug for hypertension without a valid prescription.

Despite the customer's complaints saying that other pharmacies did not require a prescription, the pharmacist remained firm, explaining the difference between Rx and over-the-counter medicines.

The viral video has garnered over a million of views, receiving public backlash in the comments section, with many calling out the poster for recording the medical professional.

A netizen shared the video and commented, "Customers are scary nowadays. They will just record medical professionals immediately to shame them, when in truth, they are the ones who are wrong."

Though the video has been removed from the original poster's account, it has been reuploaded multiple times on various platforms, including YouTube and TikTok, some versions reaching millions of views.

Legal basis

In a separate statement on Monday, April 23, the Philippine Pharmacists Association Inc. reminded the public to comply with regulations regarding prescription drugs.

The country's largest group of pharmacists emphasized the laws in place for the dispensing of medicines to ensure public health and safety.

Citing Republic Act 10918, or the Philippine Pharmacy Act of 2016, they reiterated that prescription medicines can only be dispensed with a valid prescription from doctors.

They also said pharmacists must adhere to established standards for compounding and dispensing, and provide medication counseling to patients.

Additionally, the group encouraged the public to consult licensed healthcare professionals before purchasing medicines.

Legal aid

Meanwhile, Pharmacist Bryan Santos Posadas, in another viral post on his Facebook account, said that he is offering the pharmacist involved in the viral incident a legal assistance through Pharmacist-lawyer Ran Mendoza.

Posadas said that videotaping of the customer recording the pharmacist and then posting it on social media constitutes cyberbullying.

"A mere video clip may not capture the entire context necessary for an accurate evaluation of the situation," he said. (KJF)


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