Pharmacist prescribing popular with consumers

ANY push by pharmacists to seek prescribing rights is likely to get the backing of consumers who say they trust pharmacists to prescribe a limited range of drugs.

Among 400 pharmacy clients surveyed by researchers at Curtin University, more than 70% supported pharmacist prescribing.

However, 66% thought this should only happen after an initial diagnosis by the doctor, and those supporting pharmacist prescribing preferred that it was limited to pain medication and antibiotics.

The study follows a recent decision by the Pharmacy Board of Australia to develop a framework for efforts to pursue pharmacist prescribing rights.

The move has been broadly supported by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA).

The chair of the AMA Thera­­peutics Committee, Associate Professor John Gullotta, attacked the study, arguing it would be medically irresponsible to expand the pharmacist role in prescribing.