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CHAPTER 5 Dispensing

I. Definitions and Purpose

B. The goal of dispensing is to select and dispense medications in a manner that promotes safe and effective use.

4. Check for drug interactions. When checking for interactions, a pharmacist must review the patient’s medication, evaluate and consider the indication, consider the patient’s age and hepatic/renal function, and whether or not the patient is pregnant. These factors may alter drug therapy.

5. Identify and verify drugs by their generic, brand, and/or common names. Most drugs have several names: a chemical name, a generic name, and a brand name. For example: [R-(R*, R*)]-2-(4-fluorophenyl)-ß, δ-dihydroxy-5-(1-methylethyl)-3-phenyl-4-[(phenylamino) carbonyl]-1H-pyrrole-1-heptanoic acid, calcium salt (2:1) trihydrate is the chemical name for atorvastatin calcium, the generic name for Lipitor®.

6. Determine whether a particular drug dosage strength or dosage form is commercially available and whether it is available on a nonprescription basis.

b. Often there are different routes of administration are available for a therapeutic agent. The route of administration is determined by the therapeutic objective and the properties of the drug used. Each route has advantages and disadvantages, and the administration should be suited to the patient’s needs. The two most common routes of administration are enteral and parenteral.

E. Identify commercially available drug products by their characteristic physical attributes.

4. Dietary supplements:

F. Interpret and apply pharmacokinetic parameters and quality assurance data to determine bioequivalence among manufactured drug products and identify products for which documented evidence of inequivalence exists.

3. The Orange Book is published by the FDA and aides in determining bioequivalence between drug products made by different manufacturers.3 The Orange Book uses a two-letter coding system to help determine which drug products are therapeutically equivalent.

G. Identify and communicate appropriate information regarding packaging, storage, handling, administration, and disposal of medications.

Table 5-1 Exemptions to Imprint Code Regulations

Drug products used in clinical investigations When physical characteristics of the drug make it impossible to imprint
Drug products intended for use in bioequivalence studies When the medication is dispensed in a controlled health care setting (i.e., doctor’s office)
Prescribed drug products compounded extemporaneously by pharmacists When the drug is not dispensed to patients for self administration.
Drugs classified as radiopharmaceutical drug products  


(Answers and Rationales on page 324.)