Tuesday, November 13, 2007

FDA Mulls Direct Pharmacist-to-Patient Drug Sales

From the Washington Post:
Experts at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are meeting Wednesday to hear arguments on whether or not pharmacists might someday bypass doctors and directly provide consumers with certain drugs that now require a prescription.

If this plan were to go ahead, it would create a new class of drugs that could be sold by pharmacists "behind-the-counter." Such drugs might include birth control pills, cholesterol drugs and migraine medicine, experts said. Their sales would require that patients discuss these purchases with the pharmacist first.

"We believe having certain drugs behind the counter, but available only after a consultation with a pharmacist, could significantly increase patient access," Ilisa Bernstein, the FDA's director of pharmacy affairs, told theLos Angeles Times.

Wednesday's hearing marks another chapter in the behind-the-counter saga. In 2005, the agency rejected a proposal to allow the cholesterol-lowering drug Mevacor to be sold without a prescription. At the time, however, some of the FDA's scientific advisers said it might be possible for pharmacists to sell the drug if they could help select which customers bought the pills. ...more

1 comment:

Cary said...

I find it hard to believe that this will ever happen. Although it would ease access to consumers and would potentially cut back on un-planned pregnancies, big pharma spends too much money pitching their meds to doctors. All that money they spend on doctor “meetings” would essentially be thrown out the window, and I doubt the big pharma lobbyist will stand for that.