Code of Pharmaceutical Ethics

Code of
Pharmaceutical Ethics


to code of pharmaceutical ethics

of ethics framed by the Pharmacy Council of India

Intended Learning Outcomes

  • At the end of this lecture,
    student will be able to

the code of moral principles a pharmacist should have

the code of ethics framed by the Pharmacy Council of India


may be defined as “the code of moral principles” or as “the science of morals”

conduct of individuals, in any society, is governed by the governmental control
as well as society lays down a code of conduct to help the individuals
differentiate between right and wrong

a code when practised for a long time by the society results in the development
of culture of conscience

code when practised in relation to a particular profession is known as
professional ethics                

Code of ethics by PCI

This is
meant to guide the pharmacist about his/her conduct in relationship to himself,
his patrons, general public, co-professionals and other health professionals

profession of pharmacy , apart from being a career for livelihood, it has
inherent in it, the attitude of service and sacrifice in the interests of the
suffering humanity in handling, selling, distributing, compounding and
dispensing medical substances, including poisons and patent drugs

pharmacist in collaboration with medical men and others is charged with the
responsibility of safeguarding the health of people

of professional conduct for pharmacy are necessary in the public interests to
ensure an efficient pharmaceutical service

pharmacist should not only be willing to play his part in offering such a
service but should also avoid such acts or omission which would hamper the
giving of the services or impair confidence in any respect for pharmacists as a

essential features of the code of pharmaceutical ethics formulated by the
pharmacy council of India are as follows:

     1. Pharmacists in relation to his job

     2. Pharmacists in relation to his trade

     3. Pharmacists in relation to Medical

     4. Pharmacists in relation to his

Pharmacist in relation to his

Scope of
Pharmaceutical Services

of commonly required medicines

to furnish emergency supplies at all times

of the Pharmacy

of accidental contamination in the preparation, dispensing and supply of
medicines are avoided

of the premises should reflect the professional character of pharmacy

be clear to the public that the practice of pharmacy is carried out in the

every pharmacy, there should be a pharmacist in personal control of the

A notice stating that dispensing under
(Employees State Insurance Scheme) E.S.I.S. or any other such other schemes
sponsored by Government is carried out may be exhibited at the premises.

of prescriptions

 When a
prescription is presented for dispensing it should be received by a pharmacist
without any discussion or comment over it regarding the merits and demerits of
its therapeutic efficiency.

Pharmacist should not show any expression of alarm or astonishment upon the
receipt of a prescription; as such things may cause anxiety in patients or
their agents and may even shake their faith in their physician.

question on a prescription should be answered with every caution and care; it
should neither offend a patron nor should it disclose any information, which
might have been intentionally, withheld from him.

It is not within the privilege of a Pharmacist
to add, omit or substitute any ingredient or alter the composition of a
prescription without the consent of the prescriber, unless the change is
emergent or is demanded purely by the technique of the pharmaceutical art and
does not cause any alteration in the therapeutic action of the recipe.

In case of any obvious error in it, due
to any omission, incompatibility or over dose, the prescription should be
referred back to the prescriber for correction or approval of the change
suggested. While such an act is imperative in the best interest of the patient,
in no case should it be done in a manner, which may endanger the reputation of
the prescriber concerned.

In matter of refilling prescriptions a
pharmacist should solely be guided by the instructions of the prescriber and he
should advise patients to use medicines or remedies strictly in accordance with
the intention of the physician noted on the prescription.

Handling of Drugs

All possible care should be taken to dispense a
prescription correctly by weighing and measuring all ingredients in correct
proportions by the help of scale and measures: visual estimations must be

a Pharmacist should always use drugs and medicinal preparations of standard
quality available.

He should never fill his prescriptions with
spurious, sub-standard and unethical preparations.

A Pharmacist should be Judicious in dealing with
drugs and medicinal preparations to be used for addiction or any other abusive

Such drugs and preparations should not be
supplied to any one if there is reason to suppose that it is required for such

Apprentice Pharmacists:

While in-charge of a dispensary, drugstore or
hospital pharmacy where apprentice pharmacists are admitted for practical
training, a pharmacist should see that the trainees are given full facilities for
their work so that on the completion of their training they have acquired
sufficient technique and skill to make themselves dependable pharmacists.

No certificate or credentials should be granted
unless the above criterion is attained and the recipient has proved himself
worthy of the same.

Pharmacist in relation to his

Price Structure:

Prices charged from customers should be fair and
in keeping with the quality and quantity of commodity supplied and the labor
and skill required in making it ready for use, so as to ensure an adequate
remuneration to the pharmacist taking into consideration his knowledge, skill,
the time consumed and the great responsibility involved, but at the same time
without unduly taxing the purchaser

  Fair Trade Practices

attempt should be made to capture the business of a contemporary by cut-throat
competition, that is, by offering any sort of prizes or gifts to patronizers or
by knowingly charging lower prices for medical commodities than those charged
by fellow pharmacist if they are reasonable.

case any order or prescription genuinely intended to be served by some
dispensary is brought by mistake to another, the latter should refuse to accept
it and should direct the customer to the right place.

trademarks and other signs and symbols of contemporaries should not be imitated
or copied.

of Drugs:

Drugs should always be purchased from genuine and reputable sources and a
pharmacist should always be on his guard not to aid or abet, directly or
indirectly the manufacture, possession, distribution and sale of spurious or
sub- standard drugs

of Drugs:

Hawking of drugs and medicinal should not be encouraged nor should any attempt
be made to solicit orders for such substances from door to door. `Self-service`
method of operating pharmacies and drug – stores should not be used as this
practice may lead to the distribution of therapeutic substances without an
expert supervision and thus would encourage self-medication, which is highly

Advertising and Displays:
No display material either on the premises, in the press or elsewhere should be
used by a pharmacist in connection with the sale to the public of medicines or
medical appliances which is undignified in style or which contains:-

Any wording design or illustration
reflecting unfavorably on pharmacist’s collectivity or upon any group or

A disparaging reference, direct of by implication
to other supplier

Misleading or exaggerated statements or

The word “Cure” in reference to an
ailment or symptoms of ill-health

A guarantee of therapeutic efficacy

An appeal to fear

An offer to refund money paid.

A prize, competition or similar scheme.

Any reference to a medical practitioner or a
hospital or the use of the terms “Doctor” or “Dr.” or
“Nurse” in connection with the name of the preparation not already

A reference to sexual weakness, premature
ageing or loss of virility.

A reference to complaints of sexual nature
in terms, which lack the reticence proper to the subject.

          Contraceptive preparations and appliances or
their illustration except a notice approved by regulations or bearing the words
Family planning requisite should not be exhibited.

preparations and appliances or their illustrations should not be exhibited
except a notice approved by regulations or bearing the words “Family
Planning Requisites”.

no circumstances should lustful obscene and indecent publications of any kind
or description be sold or distributed.

this practice is highly detrimental to the moral welfare of the Nation

Pharmacists in Relation to Medical Profession

Limitation of Professional Activity:

Whereas it is expected that medical
practitioners in general would not take to the practice of pharmacy by owing
drug stores, as this ultimately leads to coded prescriptions and monopolistic
practices detrimental to the pharmaceutical profession and also to the interest
of patients

It should be made a general rule that
pharmacists under no circumstances take to medical practice, that is to
diagnosing diseases and prescribing remedies therefore even if requested by
patrons to do so

  In cases
of accidents and emergencies a pharmacist may, however, render First Aid to the

Clandestine Arrangements:

No pharmacist should enter into any secret
arrangements or contract with a physician to offer him any commission or any
advantage of any description in return for his favor of patronage by
recommending his dispensary or drugstore.

Liaison With Public:
Being a liaison between medical profession and people, a pharmacist should
always keep himself abreast with the modern developments in pharmacy and other
allied sciences by regularly reading books, journals, magazines and other
periodicals , so that on the one hand he may be in a position to advise the
physician on pharmaceutical matters like those of colors, flavors, vehicles and
newer forms of administration of medicines, on the other, he may be able to
educate the people for maintaining healthy and sanitary conditions of living

a pharmacist can contribute his share in the nation-building activities of the

pharmacist should at all times endeavour to promote knowledge and contribute
his quota in the advancement of learning

pharmacist should never disclose any information which he has acquired during
his professional activities to any third party or person unless requires by law
to do so

should never betray the confidence which his patrons repose in him or which he
has won by virtue of his eminent character and conduct

Pharmacist in relation to his

v  Professional

It is not only sufficient for a pharmacist to be
law-abiding and to deter from doing things derogatory to Society and his
profession, but it should be his duty to make others also fulfill the
provisions of the pharmaceutical and other laws and regulations

He should not be afraid of bringing or causing a
miscreant to be brought to book, may be a member of his own profession

Whereas it is obligatory for a pharmacist to
extend help and cooperation to a fellow member in his legitimate needs,
scientific, technical or otherwise, he is to be, at the same time, vigilant to
weed the undesirable out of the profession and thus help to maintain its fair
name and traditions

Law-abiding Citizens:

A pharmacist engaged in profession has to be an
enlightened citizen endowed with a fair knowledge of the land and he should
strive to countenance and defend them

He should be particularly conversant with the
enactments pertaining to food, drug, pharmacy, health, sanitation and the like
and endeavor to abide by them in every phase of his life

A pharmacist is a unit whole and his life cannot
be divided into compartments

Relationship with Professional Organizations:

In order to inculcate a corporate life in his own
professional colleagues, a pharmacist should join and advance the cause of all
such organizations, the aims and objects of which are conducive to scientific
moral and cultural well-being of pharmacists and at the same time are in no way
contrary to the code of pharmaceutical ethics

Decorum and Propriety:
A pharmacist should always refrain from doing all such acts and deeds which
are not in consonance with the decorum and propriety of pharmaceutical
profession or which are likely to bring discredit or upgrade to the profession
or to himself


Ethics may
be defined as “the code of moral principles” or as “the science of morals”

 Code when practised for a long time by the
society results in the development of culture of conscience

profession of pharmacy, apart from being a career for livelihood, it has
inherent in it the attitude of service and sacrifice in the interests of the
suffering humanity

pharmacist in collaboration with medical men and others is charged with the
onerous responsibility of safeguarding the health of people

of professional conduct for pharmacy are necessary in the public interests to
ensure an efficient pharmaceutical service

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