BMA welcomes expanded role for pharmacists

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 10 April 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:797
  1. Lynn Eaton
  1. 1London

    Doctors’ leaders have welcomed government plans to increase the role of pharmacists in England in diagnosing and treating illness.

    Pharmacists will be able to prescribe for minor ailments, such as coughs, colds, stomach upsets, and headaches, and to offer advice and screening for long term conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, under plans set out by England’s health minister Ben Bradshaw.

    Pharmacists might also offer advice on diet and lifestyle, such as alcohol intake and exercise levels.

    Some pharmacists already do this under contract to their local primary care trust, in what are known as local enhanced services. These range from stop smoking advice to needle exchange services (see graph on page 19 of Other pharmacists, such as Boots, offer chlamydia screening tests to the public on a commercial basis rather than a contractual basis to the …

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