HomeHealthMedicineShould pharmacists be able to prescribe common medicines like antibiotics for UTIs?...

Should pharmacists be able to prescribe common medicines like antibiotics for UTIs? We asked 5 experts

Victoria is the latest state to switch to pharmacist prescribing, with Prime Minister Daniel Andrews promise a trial allowing pharmacists to prescribe antibiotics for urinary tract infections (UTIs) and medications for other conditions upon reelection.

are UTIs commonespecially among women, half of whom will get at least one in their lifetime.

Last week the Government of New South Wales announced a trial that would allow pharmacists to give a range of travel vaccinations and prescribe antibiotics for urinary tract infections. And on Tuesday, the Northern Territory legislation passed to expand the role of pharmacists.

Queensland was the first state to expand this scope — pharmacists can prescribe medications for urinary tract infections, after a two-year trial. The state is now testing a pilot program enabling pharmacists to prescribe for a range of other common conditions.

Proponents of pharmacist prescribing argue that it expands health care options for people who do not have access to a primary care physician and emphasizes pharmacists’ expertise with medicines. Meanwhile, opponents worry about safety and antibiotic resistance.

So should pharmacists be able to prescribe common medicines, such as antibiotics for urinary tract infections? We asked 5 experts.

Three out of five said yes

Here are their detailed answers:

Disclosure Statements: Brett Mitchell receives funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council. He has received research funding from the NHMRC, HCF Foundation, Medtronics, Australasian College for Infection Prevention and Control, Nurses Memorial Centre, Senver, GAMA Healthcare, Ian Potter Foundation and Commonwealth (Innovation Connections grant). He is editor-in-chief of Infection, Disease and Health; Henry Cutler receives funding from the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association; Jay Dantas receives funding from Healthway, Lotterywest and DISER. She is International Health SIG Convenor of the Public Health Association of Australia, a member of the Global Gender Equality in Health Leadership Committee, Women in Global Health, Australia and the Chair of Australian Graduate Women; Lisa Nissen received funding from the Queensland Department of Health to evaluate the implementation of the recent Queensland Urinary Tract Pharmacy Pilot in its previous role at the Queensland University of Technology. She is a past president of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (Queensland) and past president of the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (Queensland); Louise Stone is a member of the RACGP, ACRRM and ASPM.

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