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Which 5 lab tests can’t a pharmacist order?

April 1, 2014

Ordering a lab test can be part of considering appropriate information for a patient. However, keep in mind that standards and legislation limit which tests pharmacists may order.

Pharmacists must only order lab tests if indicated to assist in the management of drug therapy for a patient.

Pharmacists may not order:

  1. Any form of ionizing or non-ionizing radiation; these are restricted activities. In other words, pharmacists may not order x-rays, ultrasounds, or MRIs.1
  2. Any test which is beyond their personal competency to order or interpret.2
  3. Any test for which they are not prepared to take appropriate action on if the results of the test are outside the normal or expected range.2
  4. Any test that is already available from another source.2
  5. Any test for patients with whom they haven’t developed a professional relationship.2

Want to know more about ordering lab tests?

These sources outline the process, requirements, and best practices.  

  • Guidelines for pharmacists ordering laboratory tests and using laboratory data
  • Standard 3, Standards of Practice for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians
  • Ordering lab tests information page on the ACP website


[1] Schedule 7.1, Government Organization Act

[2] Standard 3, Standards of Practice for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians