Integrity Standards and Sports Pharmacy Ethics

Pharmacists take an oath to practice pharmacy. Sports pharmacy requires ethical considerations with the use of drugs in sports. Sports pharmacists pledge to advocate for athlete health and to act in support of the antidoping movement while pushing toward an individual’s best athletic performance.

Pharmacists, including sports pharmacists, are independently licensed for practice. The license is regionally issued; regulations for pharmacy practice will differ between regions. Working with individual athletes creates a patient-pharmacist relationship, as defined by regional rules of pharmacy. Pharmacy personnel working with athletes or exercise enthusiasts leading up to or during any sporting event shall first complete training in safe and appropriate selection and use of medications, dietary supplements, and over-the-counter treatments. In partnership with stakeholders in sports and the antidoping movement, including athletes and athlete advocates, the International Sports Pharmacists Network works to increase awareness of sports pharmacists’ value and the development of formal sport-related training toward competency for all pharmacists and pharmacy staff.

In response to growing interest among pharmacists to provide pharmacy care to athletes, experts with the International Sports Pharmacists Network established Integrity Standards in 2016, to:

·       promote the value of competent pharmacists’ drug expertise

·       advocate for evidence-based translational medicine, patient counseling and therapeutic drug/nutrient monitoring by credentialed sports pharmacists

·       encourage pharmacists working with athletes to avoid prescription abuse, discourage misuse, and respond to athletes’ drug misadventures

·       encourage colleges of pharmacy to incorporate antidoping and drugs in sport into the pharmacy curriculum

·       support multidisciplinary healthcare teams for athletes by recognizing sports pharmacists

·       advocate for the long-term health goals of the athletes, balanced with the shorter-term athletic performance goals

·       honor patient-athlete rights and healthcare privacy, professional ethical commitment to accept non-disclosure agreements that allow the pharmacist to report concerns in doping when recognized if concern arises

·       appreciate cultural and human diversity as it shapes individual health and performance

·       recommend transparency and financial disclosures by pharmacists to their patients when financial ties may influence any therapy recommendations shall personalize counseling on compliance and adherence.

·       support pharmacists working with health-conscious consumers optimizing organic nutrition and non-pharmaceutical options when appropriate to avoid over-prescribing

Integrity Standards of Sports Pharmacists

Sports Pharmacists keep abreast of scientific developments in sports pharmacy, including the antidoping movement, to maintain professional competency

Sports Pharmacists recognize sports pharmacy as a specialized practice of pharmacy that requires on-going advanced training and maintenance of professional credentials

Sports Pharmacists work within the pharmacists’ scope of practice and may consult with other professionals credentialed to work with athletes to provide the highest level of care

Sports Pharmacists support patient-centered goals working with a multidisciplinary team

Sports Pharmacists involve the athlete in the decision-making process and offer unbiased advice based on the existing scientific evidence

Sports Pharmacists consider the long-term welfare of the athlete when advising on medications or when selecting drug therapies or avoidance thereof

Sports Pharmacists evaluate the situation and consider the consequences of treatment or withholding treatment to make sound decision using best professional judgement

Sports Pharmacists address the risk of overuse or abuse of medications, dietary supplements, nutrients as drugs, and (when appropriately trained) herbal medicines

Sports Pharmacists recognize and discuss the risk of designer ingredients often found in supplements and drug/ drug-like substances or treatment modalities marketed to athletes without proper testing for safety, quality, or efficacy

Sports Pharmacists respect proprietary content and appropriately attribute credit to novel ­ideas within the evolving field of sports pharmacy

Sports Pharmacists embrace the changes within our profession to improve patient-athlete care and promote higher standards for quality of life