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Non-prescription Samples & Ethics

Case:

A physician is given non-prescription vitamin samples that are expensive and are to be given to patients of low income. Employees took samples home for their personal use. They tell you to do the same because you can save money and they will become outdated before other people can get them.

Questions:

1. What should the person do in this situation?

2. Is the action ethical ad/or legal?

3. Are non-prescription vitamins categorized as a controlled substance?

4. Are the vitamins considered medical waste if disposed of?

5. Does the physician have any responsibility for the dispensing of the vitamins?

Solution Preview

Here you go. Good luck!

1. What should the person do in this situation?

It is wrong to take the vitamins. The vitamins were given with the instruction and understanding that they were to be given to low-income patients. In the event the physician is not able to dispense the vitamins in time, he should let the sales representative know of the situation. At that time the sales representative can decide to pick up the excess or instruct the physician to distribute the vitamins among his staff. Currently, the employees are going against the intent of the donation, misleading the sales representative, ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses the ethics of distributing non-prescription vitamin samples in a manner not intended. It also defines if this is a controlled substance and/or classified as medical waste. APA references are included.

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