Government reveals new plans for pharmacies in England

New plans have been revealed by the Government this week which will allow patients in England to obtain certain prescription medications directly from their local pharmacist. This decision comes amid mounting concern regarding the level of service being provided by GP’s across England and it is hoped that this decision will ease the ongoing pressure on the system.

Pharmacists will now be able to prescribe drugs for seven common ailments:

  • Earache
  • Sore throat
  • Sinusitis
  • Impetigo
  • Shingles
  • Infected insect bites
  • Uncomplicated urinary tract infections in women

The commentary surrounding this recent decision has revealed that despite the highlighted benefits, there are also potential risks for both patients and pharmacists. These potential risks include:

  • The risk of misdiagnosis
  • Lack of consistent of care for patients
  • Increased workload for pharmacists
  • Patient safety concerns
  • The limited scope of Pharmacists’ knowledge

Whilst it is hoped that the majority of these risks can be mitigated through appropriate training, collaboration, and communication between pharmacists and doctors, only time will tell if the benefits outweigh the risks.

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