Q/ Address this scenario from an ethical, legal and policy perspective.    You have just started a

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Q/ Address this scenario from an ethical, legal and policy perspective. 


You have just started a new job as a pharmacist in a large community pharmacy. The pharmacy is located in the outer suburbs of Melbourne. There are a lot of first-home buyers in your area, and many of these families are experiencing financial difficulties because of mortgage stress.

You are usually rostered on shift with the Pharmacist in Charge and a dispensary technician. The owner of the pharmacy sees the COVID pandemic as a great opportunity to make extra sales. The price of hand sanitiser, face masks and gloves have been increased by 50%. 

The owner notices that a lot of new customers are requesting Ventolin inhalers (Schedule S3), just in case they contract the virus. The pharmacy technicians are instructed to deal with these requests and to provide two inhalers to each customer, or one per household member, without going through the assessment protocol or consulting a pharmacist. 

The naturopath employed by the store says that she has read that high dose of Vitamin C and Zinc will act as a protect against the infection. The owner instructs the pharmacists to companion sell Vitamin C and Zinc with a every prescription. The Naturopath also recommends that the pharmacy assistants on the floor should aggressively promote a homeopathic “Immune Booster” product to customers. The owner likes the recommendation and offers a prize for the pharmacy assistant who 
makes the most sales. 

The owner is interested in the proposed role of the prescription medicine hydroxychloroquine in treating COVID infections. The manager acquires 1500 bottles of hydroxychloroquine by placing orders with each of wholesalers. These orders wipe out the entire stock levels of hydroxychloroquine in the state. Your owner is very excited by this purchase, and remarks to you that it will become a fantastic resource and bring lots of new customers to the pharmacy. The owner lets the local doctors know that pharmacy has hydroxychloroquine in stock and suggests they should come in and write prescriptions for themselves and their family members. The owner dispenses a supply of hydroxychloroquine for their own family through the system, but he does not have a prescription. 

At the weekly staff meeting, the retail manager starts by listing the companion sales achieved by each pharmacist, and the number of Ventolins issued by each dispensary technician. You haven’t met your sales target, and the owner tells you in front of the entire staff “to do a better job next 


Later that week you take a phone call from a representative of the wholesalers. They would like at least 100 bottles of hydroxychloroquine returned as there is now a nationwide shortage of the drug for people who need to take it to manage their rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune disorders. You pass the representative onto the owner, who refuses to return the stock for patients who have a therapeutic need.






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