July 2016

Q&A: Can I co-sign prescriptions for Americans?

Q: I received a letter from a Canadian mail-order pharmacy offering me financial compensation to co-sign prescriptions for Americans so that they may have their prescriptions filled in Canada. As an NP, what are my accountabilities in this situation?

A: You cannot participate in this request. You are accountable for complying with the College’s standards and guidelines, which states that receiving any financial or non-financial benefit from prescribing medication conflicts with your professional or ethical duty to the client.

Signing a prescription means that you are prescribing medication for the client. You need to have sufficient information about your client's health to make the decision that the medication provides a safe and effective treatment. You may only prescribe medication if there is a therapeutic and professional relationship with the client.

Other considerations include meeting various standards after prescribing a medication, including monitoring the client's response to treatment and documenting your care. 

For more information, read the Nurse Practitioner practice standard.


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