Physician groups have begun quietly lobbying Congress, the FDA and anyone else who will listen to give them the right to dispense prescription medications. At first, I thought it was a joke, but they seem pretty insistent about it, so I will take it seriously. They realize it’s a long shot, but it is lucrative enough that they’re going to try.
After all, if pharmacists can administer shots and open point-of-care clinics, why not allow doctors to cut pharmacists out of the loop and dispense directly?
As readers of this blog know, I’m generally pro-consumer. If it expands options for patients, I’m in favor. But if physicians begin insisting that patients have to get their meds from the doc, that’s a problem.
In some countries, physicians have the ability to dispense medications in addition to prescribe. It is problematic because it opens physicians up to a considerable conflict of interest.
This won’t go anywhere anytime soon, but will be interesting to watch.