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J Am Pharm Assoc (2003). 2006 Mar-Apr;46(2):205-12.

Consistent standards in medication use: the need to care for patients from research to practice.

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College of Pharmacy, University of Minnesota, 308 Harvard Street S.E., Minneapolis, MN 55455-0343, USA.



To propose adoption of practice standards for pharmacists based on the principles of pharmaceutical care that are parallel to internationally accepted ethical precepts governing clinical research.


Relevant literature selected by the authors.


Pharmaceutical care practice standards can create a continuum of high quality care for patients from research through practice and are presented as a rational solution to managing the benefits and risks of medication use. By implementing these practice standards, patients are empowered to become active participants in the treatment process, knowledge of drug effectiveness and safety is increased, and the pharmaceutical care practitioner's responsibilities are delineated. More than a quarter century ago, the research community adopted the ethical principles of respect for persons, beneficence, and justice, as outlined in the Belmont Report: Ethical Principles and Guidelines for the Protection of Human Subjects of Research. Under these guidelines, research subjects are considered participants, knowledge of medication efficacy and safety has increased, and investigator responsibilities have been defined. However, these guidelines only apply to the life cycle of a drug before approval by the Food and Drug Administration. Once the product is released for general use, fewer standards are applied. Pharmacy has the opportunity to establish parallel standards for the clinical use of medications in patients by establishing patient care practices in consonance with pharmaceutical care practice.


Pharmaceutical care practitioners need to apply new practice standards that allow them to contribute meaningfully to appropriate, effective, safe, and convenient drug therapy for all patients. Such pharmaceutical care practice standards could ensure consistent vigilance throughout the life cycle of the drug product and result in rational, appropriate, effective, safe, and convenient drug therapy for all patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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