Thursday, June 12, 2008

A prescription to improve health care

This is a decent article regarding pharmacist prescribing, but I thought I'd point out that the example cited in the early part of the article is a very poor one. Pharmacists would not be diagnosing bladder infections at the local pharmacy counter as Ms. Bessette would prefer. Diagnosing is a physician's area while optimally managing drug therapy once diagnosed is where a pharmacist can shine.

From the North Bay (Ont.) Nugget:
Tina Bessette has been at the mercy of a doctor shortage.

And she doesn’t like it.

The idea of giving pharmacists, nurse practitioners, midwives and optometrists more prescribing power couldn’t come at a better time, Bessette said Tuesday.

“It’s really frustrating, especially for those who are waiting hours at a walk-in clinic just to get their medications refilled,” she said.

“It would be really helpful for the patient if more medical professionals could prescribe drugs. It’s exactly what we need and it will certainly help because right now the situation is horrible.”

Most recently, Bessette has had to wait seven days before she could get the necessary medication she needed for a bladder infection.

“The nurse practitioner who treated me didn’t have the authority to prescribe medication so I had to make a doctor’s appointment and the earliest I could get one was about seven days later,” she said.

“We need these types of people to be able to prescribe medication. Doctors are so busy, many times you can’t get hold of them to make an appointment or it’s not soon enough.” ...more

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