Iowa:Transplant nurses ?? giving unused meds to indigent transplant patients

  1. police investigate reuse of drugs in iowa
    ap/yahoo!, feb. 24, 2004

    police are investigating reports that nurses at the university hospitals in iowa city, iowa, have illegally reused prescription drugs for patients in the transplant unit.
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  3. by   fiestynurse
    This practice is happening more than you think. Doctors and nurses save the unused drugs of other patients and dispense them to the indigent in clinics all over the country. It is a risky practice and they know that they are not suppose to do it, but it is done. I have also seen these drugs thrown into boxes and donated to third world relief organizations. They also donate expired sample drugs to these organizations.

    I feel bad for these nurses. You can't tell me that the doctors and others didn't know that this was taking place. Just another instance where the nurses take the fall for the facility and everybody else.
  4. by   Shotzie
    Isn't the issue here about drugs that are life saving medicines that otherwise would be thrown away? These nurses took those meds and gave them to someone who MUST HAVE THEM to survive.
    I've seen this done with sampled drugs that are about to be expired, only they were sent to Mexico with a medical group, and I know this practice is done with HIV patients. Many HIV/AIDS charitable organizations have a method set up whereby you can donate the meds you have left over or left from changing drug regimens.
    What SHOULD have happened is that there should have already been a plan set up so that these unused meds could be given to those in need without everyone getting so upset.
  5. by   Agnus
    My concern is this. Is the patient for whom the drug was originally dispensed get credit for the drug, or did he have to pay for it, when someone else actually used it?

    If another patient was charged for the drug this is a case of stealing from that patient. It doesn't matter if it was paid by his insurance it is still theft.

    If on the other hand no patient was charged and it is the policy that the hospital discards unused drugs once they are dispensed(and the patient is not charged) then we have a different issue and it is probable quite noble to give them to those in need)

    But if those drugs (by policy) could have been redispensed to someone else then you are stealing from the hospital.

    Noble or not stealing is stealing. It depends on what ethical view point you take as to whether you can justify it. Since the ethics are open to opinion this could go either way.
  6. by   KMSRN
    It is also an ethical and legal issue because dispensing medications is outside nursing licensure and scope of practice.
  7. by   LolaRN
    I agree with Shotzie. They should have had a plan in place for this already since many other places DO donate leftovers for other types of diseases.