Pharmacists To Diagnose – Not The Right Answer For Pseudophedrine

In a letter to the editor, a consumer was suggesting that one answer for BTC (behind-the-counter) medications such as cold medications would be to require the pharmacist to determine who should get them. Certainly, we need to figure out a way for these medications not to be used to create methamphetamine (meth), but this won’t work (IMHO). On the flip side, requiring a prescription for patients to get these doesn’t make a lot of sense either. It would drive up physician visits and overall healthcare costs.

Why?

  • Pharmacists are already very busy (at most pharmacies).
  • The margin on these medications probably doesn’t justify applying high cost labor to them. Today, a pharmacy technician that makes significantly less does and can handle “filling” these. [Of course, if this argument worked, pharmacies would stop filling $4 generics and free antibiotics.]
  • What’s the proper diagnosis for a cold and how would you screen people?
  • If criminals wanted the drugs, wouldn’t they just get sick and come in to get them?

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