Sunday, February 08, 2009

Doctor-pharmacist turf war erupts

From the East Valley (AZ) Tribune:
A turf war of sorts is brewing at the Capitol between doctors and pharmacists over who is qualified to decide when people need vaccinations.

The Arizona Pharmacy Alliance wants to allow its members to administer certain shots without the customers first getting a prescription from a doctor. Mindy Rasmussen, the organization’s director, said that change in law will help ensure that Arizonans get the immunizations they need.

But the move is getting a fight from the Arizona Academy of Family Physicians. Laura Hahn, that group’s executive director, said she fears the proposal would needlessly endanger patient health.

The pharmacists have won the first round: The House Committee on Health and Human Services approved HB 2164 without dissent. It has the added benefit of being backed by the Arizona Retailers Association, many of whose members operate pharmacies.

But even Rasmussen acknowledged that the bill faces an uncertain future unless the objections from the doctors can be overcome. ...more

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