Prescription Drug

Definition - What does Prescription Drug mean?

A prescription drug is a regulated medication administered by a licensed physician to a patient for a therapeutic purpose. Individuals are referred to a pharmacist who prepares and dispenses the prescribed dosage per doctor instructions. All prescribed drugs undergo a formality called the New Drug Application (NDA) process, covering marketability and safety aspects related to the drug prior to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval.

WorkplaceTesting explains Prescription Drug

Prescription drugs can be beneficial in improving overall health when used in accordance to the prescribed dosage. However, prescription drug abuse remains an epidemic problem, compromising the welfare and safety of people at home and work. Some commonly abused drugs include opioids such as Oxycodone, Vicodin, and Percocet. Also commonly abused are stimulants such as Adderall and Ritalin.

While most employers include comprehensive drug-free policies prohibiting illegal substances, prescription drug use tends to contain lax guidelines. Many employers encounter gray areas in policies due to a deficiency of specifying explicit rules concerning prescription drugs and complications with both privacy laws and disability regulations. Employees are responsible for obtaining information from their doctor about prescription drugs and whether if any existing side effects pose limitations or restrictions to their job duties and then informing their employers if a danger exists. However, often there is no mechanism to enforce whether or not employees notify employers of prescription medications.

A drug-free policy stipulating conditions associated with prescription drug use, such as leave of absence, reassignment to different tasks, and communication with supervisors can help to provide guidance in these situations.

Although, prescription drug abuse remains a problem, appropriate policy and procedure can minimize risk and avoid discrimination liabilities per the Rehabilitation Act and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations.

This definition was written in the context of Drug Testing
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