Thursday, March 15, 2012

Ooooh... expanded scope of practice... shiny...

But wait! Not yet! Maybe some day people will visit their pharmacist to get their over the counter blood pressure medications, asthma meds, high cholesterol meds, and others, but not yet. Alas, I think.  The FDA is collecting input on making a great number of medications OTC after you talk to the pharmacist and get some basic diagnostic testing done. 

I think I'm in favor of it because it reduces the burden of writing refill prescriptions on doctors, gives patients more flexibility in scheduling appointments since pharmacies have more hours than doctors (because I don't think even Walgreen's is insane enough to say you can get a prescription by walking up any old time), and lets pharmacists do what we are trained to do - manage medication use.  If I'm unsure if I can take two medications together, and it's 3am, I don't leave a message for my doctor.  I call up a 24 hour pharmacy and ask a pharmacist.  Plus pharmacists are often in towns where there are few if any doctors, making a pharmacist visit much easier to get than driving 50 miles to see a doctor.

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