23 May 2012

Pharmacists in favour of prescribing medicines

9:10 pm on 23 May 2012

Pharmacists have told Parliament they support moves that would offer them the chance to prescribe medicines.

Parliament's health select committee on Wednesday is considering extending prescribing rights under proposed changes to the medicines act.

The Medicines Amendment Bill would expand who can become an authorised prescriber of medicines and set up a new category of delegated prescribers.

The Pharmaceutical Society representing 3000 pharmacists said delegated pharmacist prescribers would work under and in partnership with authorised prescribers such as doctors.

It says it would improve access and continuity of care in the community, while making better use of pharmacist's training.

However, MPs were also told it must be clear who is behind any delegated prescriber to enable any checks to be easily made.

Family doctors told the select committee medicines can be dangerous, and prescribing is best left up to them and some others - but should not be expanded too much.