Thursday, January 22, 2009

Pharmacists seek expanded role

From the London (Ont.) Free Press:
Expanding the role of pharmacists to include prescribing medications for some ailments will give Ontarians a more efficient system and better access to care, says the head of the Ontario Pharmacists' Association.

"There would be reduced pressure on the health-care system," said Tina Perlman, a London pharmacist and president of the association.

That recommendation and others were made last fall to the province by an advisory council. Health-care professionals are waiting to see if the government will move on the advice. While the pharmacists' association has embraced a larger role for its members, doctors' groups have been skeptical and the president of the Ontario Medical Association says he's puzzled by the recommendations.

Perlman emphasized the pharmacists would continue to work closely with doctors. And the ailments pharmacists would provide prescriptions for would be minor problems such as athlete's foot, yeast infections, acne, migraines and cold sores.

"If a patient needs to be accessed for a minor ailment and that is something a pharmacist can do, it eliminates them from going to a doctor's office or going and sitting in an emergency department. ...more

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