Since Medical Marijuana was signed into law, the Oklahoma State Board of Pharmacy has been busy fielding calls from pharmacists wanting to know more about their role in House Bill 788.
While many Oklahomans feel like pharmacists should have been left out of the equation, OSBP's executive director said their oversight is imperative.
When it comes to doling out drugs, conventional or not, OSBP Executive Director, and pharmacist Chelsea Church says they should be at the helm.
“If it's going to be medication pharmacists think they need to be involved with it,” said Church.
That's because she says patients’ lives are at stake.
“We're the safety. Lots of patients go to many different physicians, one physician may not know they are on another medication,” said Church.
She said marijuana when mixed with specific drugs can be harmful. A pharmacist would be on hand to warn the patient.
“Our problem is going to be additive effects. Most patients that are on a pain medication or a sedative, if they are taking marijuana on top of that there are going to be additive effects and it could be potentially dangerous,” said Church.
She says pharmacists will act as the dispensary manager---monitoring sales, tracking inventory and personnel.
“So that particular pharmacist in charge of the one dispensary is going to oversee policies and procedures, training of all the employees, to help protect against diversion, so they are the manager,” said Church.
She said they'd also be in charge of pulling bad product off their shelves.
“Say there's a recall, let's say a cultivator had used a pesticide that's harmful. They need to be the ones that know—okay, where did that product go? How are we going to let the public know, and get it taken care of,” said Church.