Department of Consumer Affairs Board of Pharmacy

Patient's Bill of Rights

Effective health care requires collaboration between patients, pharmacists, and other health care professionals. Open and honest communication, respect for personal and professional values, and sensitivity to differences are integral to providing patient care. Pharmacists must ensure a health care ethic that respects the role of patients in decision making about treatment choices and other aspects of their care.

The California Board of Pharmacy encourages health care providers to tailor this bill of rights to their patient community by translating and/or simplifying the language of this document as may be necessary to ensure that patients and their families understand their rights and responsibilities.

Bill of Rights
  1. The patient has the right to considerate and respectful care.
  2. The patient has the right to and is encouraged to obtain from pharmacists and other direct caregivers relevant, current, and understandable information concerning their medication therapy and treatment.
  3. The patient is entitled to the opportunity to discuss and request information related to their specific drug therapy, the possible adverse side effects and drug interactions.
  4. The patient has the right to make decisions about the plan of care prior to and during the course of treatment and to refuse a recommended treatment or plan of care.
  5. The patient has the right to expect that all communication, discussion, and patient counseling will be conducted so as to protect each patient's privacy.
  6. The patient has the right to expect that all records and discussion pertaining to his/her drug therapy will be treated as confidential by the pharmacist, and the patient has the right to expect that the pharmacist will emphasize the confidentiality of patient information to any other parties entitled to review the patient's information and records.
  7. Patients have a right to competent counseling from the pharmacist to help them understand their medications and use them correctly.

The collaborative nature of health care requires that patients, or their families, participate in their care. The effectiveness of patient care and patient satisfaction with the course of drug therapy will depend, in part, on the patient fulfilling certain responsibilities. Patients are responsible for providing information about their medications as well as a history of their drug and food allergies.

To participate effectively in decision making, patients must be encouraged to take responsibility for requesting information or clarification about the drugs they are taking when they do not fully understand information and instructions.