In favor of pharmacists

Registered pharmacists know more about drugs and are more accessible to patients than doctors. Yet they generally spend their days counting pills. That’s starting to change under a system called “collaborative drug therapy management,” which –under legislation proposed in Massachusetts– would consist of:

“initiating, monitoring, modifying, and discontinuing of a patient’s drug therapy” based on a standing written agreement between the pharmacist and a physician.

Physicians are concerned about pharmacists treading on their turf, and about the conflict of interest in pharmacists selling and prescribing. (And that concern is borne out in countries such as Japan, where physicians dispense drugs in their offices.) But conflict of interest is already rife in the US medical community, especially when it comes to drug prescribing. Allowing pharmacists to do more while forbidding them from being visited by drug reps or from receiving fees from the industry could provide a valuable, objective resource to patients that could reduce the level of conflicts overall.

Read more here.

December 26, 2005

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