Pharmacists worried about GPs dispensing medicines; GPs say 'it isn't exactly rocket science'

Pharmacists worried about GPs dispensing medicines; GPs say 'it isn't exactly rocket science'

Pharmacists have expressed concerns over plans by GPs to dispense medicine directly to patients.

The National Association of General Practitioners is carrying out a feasibility study on whether its members could dispense commonly used medicines to patients.

More than €2.7bn is spent each year on medication in pharmacies.

General Secretary of the Irish Pharmacy Union Darragh O'Loughlin says he does not see how the workload would be feasible for GPs.

He said: "We have been listening to GPs all of this year and all of last year saying there aren't enough of us, we have too much work, we're under too much pressure.

"It's hard to understand how they can take on this addidtional workload when there isn't enough of them at the moment to cope with the workload that they now have.

"It would make more sense if we were talking to each other about how to improve the lot of patients and how we improve the healthcare of patients."

However Dr Emmet Kerin, President of the National Association of General Practitioners, says it would only be for very common medicines.

Dr Kerin said: "40% of scripts generated in practice are just for one item and 90% of those are for two items.

"The top items in that are aspirin, paracetamol and Calpol, so it isn't exactly rocket science."


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