Pharmacists prescribe birth control pills, vaccines and antibiotics without doctors

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New South Wales (New South Wales) The government has announced that it will allow state pharmacists to prescribe drugs such as hormonal contraceptives, antibiotics and travel vaccines from November 14 without requiring doctor’s approval in a bid to reduce the pressure on the health system.

Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet said proposed pharmacy reforms would increase the number of drugs pharmacists can administer.

“By giving the community better access to medicines and vaccines through their local pharmacist, we are relieving our hard-working GPs (GPs) by giving them more time for patients with other medical conditions” , Perrottet said in a statement.

“We are stepping up our efforts to provide another innovative policy to improve people’s lives by providing more support for primary care.”

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said pharmacists’ role in vaccination during the pandemic has been beneficial.

“While some in the primary care sector have strong opinions about the role of pharmacists, their positive contribution to managing the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that they are capable of doing more for their communities” , Hazzard said.

Meanwhile, the Australian Medical Association argues that while vaccination is a valuable public health measure, expanding the role of pharmacists to directly administer drugs for other conditions can be dangerous when prescribed out of context. of the patient’s history.

“The process of diagnosis and appropriate and safe prescribing, and especially not prescribing, in the context of a person’s overall clinical picture is essential,” said the AMA’s chairman in New Wales. South, Dr. Michael Bonning, said in a report.

“Where there is an established clinical relationship, such as with a GP, then it is possible to have a difficult conversation about when not to prescribe a drug.”

Hormonal contraception and mood disorders

The Therapeutic Goods Administration recently recommended that the contraceptive the pill remains a prescription-only drug for safety reasons.

However, some states are moving forward with downgrading pharmaceutical drugs through a political process rather than through an evidence-based process, Bonning says.

The NSW reform will allow pharmacists to prescribe birth control pills, removing the need for a GP visit.

“Patient safety should be paramount, not pharmacy profits,” Bonning said.

However, a recent peer-reviewed study showed a significant relationship between taking oral contraceptive pills and mood disorders such as depression.

“The link between taking oral contraceptive pills and depression can be attributed to the amount and type of progestin in oral contraceptive pills,” the researchers said. wrote.

In a longitudinal study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, researchers found in 475,802 women in Denmark that hormonal birth control use doubled the risk of attempted suicide and tripled the risk of suicide.

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Jessie Zhang is a Sydney-based journalist covering Australian news, focusing on health and the environment. Contact her at [email protected]

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