Some Patients Confused about New Pharmacy Powers

Some Patients Confused about New Pharmacy Powers

Quebec City (Quebec) 28 June 2015 – Since pharmacists recently became allowed to perform seven new acts that were once reserved for doctors, some patients seem confused about new pharmacy services, some even making the demand for narcotics.

In the Bas-Saint-Laurent, several professionals contacted by the agreed that some customers mistakenly believe that pharmacists have more power than they actually do. Some users even would act as if the pharmacy had become an “open bar”.

“Some wanted me to prescribe them narcotics,” says Jocelyn Rochette, pharmacy a village near Rivière-du-Loup or Saint-Alexandre.

For a week now, pharmacists have certain new powers, such as prescribing drugs for conditions where the diagnosis and treatment are known, prescription of medication when no diagnosis is required, or extension of prescriptions written by a doctor to avoid interruption of treatment, for example.

It appears that patients who can not reach their doctor or who do not wish to wait hours in the emergency room concluded that the meaning of “no diagnosis required” is broader than it actually is. Many would thus misinterpreted the guidelines, since the past few days, several pharmacists say they have been bombarded with questions.

“It’s very demanding, actually,” stated Claude Bourgoin of a Jean Coutu pharmacy of Rivière-du-Loup. He responds mostly to people’s questions, rather than performing these new acts.

“People think we will replace their doctor. So far, there are more requests than I can do. I believe that there will be any transition period,” he says. All, however, seem surprised at the confusion among customers, many of whom have not read the news in detail. “It was to be expected.”

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