Despite the opinions of doctors, pharmacists find another way to deliver the drug with a trial

If Reyna or Justin Ansley or any of their three children are sick and need to be tested for strep or measles, there is an opportunity for them to go to their local clinic in Hemingford or Alliance, Nebraska. Dave Randolph, who owns two of Dave’s Pharmacy locations, can do a quick test, give them the medication if they need it, and send them on their way.

“I’m a cattle rancher,” said Reyna Ansley, whose family lives about 15 miles outside of Hemingford. “You don’t have time to run to the doctor and stay in the waiting room. It’s faster through Dave.”

The Ansleys do not have health insurance and the use of medication, where Randolph paid $ 50 to $ 60 to do the tests, is better than paying $ 200 for an office visit with a local doctor, Ansley said. If the test is positive, the medications will cost $ 20 to $ 30.

Randolph’s ability to prescribe medications for strep and strep infection is common. He can do so in Nebraska because he has an annual medical practice agreement with a local doctor about government approval.

The ease of access to medications also helped them play such an important role during illness that they became the primary focus for testing and covid-19 vaccines. Even before covid was introduced in the country, many states gave pharmaceuticals a major role in the health of consumers.

According to the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations, more than a dozen states have increased what pharmaceuticals can do to include testing and treating people for chronic diseases. such as strep throat, flu, and urinary tract infections and HIV infection. Some states allow medications to prescribe oral medications or prescription drugs to help people quit smoking. Typically, medications are administered under agreements with physicians or rules called statewide protocols.

But the number of states has gone up again, allowing pharmacists to prescribe drugs themselves to maintain a wide range of conditions to get quick tests, if necessary in relation to medical leaders.

“We’re seeing other states looking at direct regulatory authority right now to oppose similar pharmacy agreements,” said Allie Jo Shipman, state policy director at the National Alliance of State Pharmacy. Associations. The alliance offers point-of-care training programs and point-of-care treatment training programs for medical practitioners and medical students.

The Biden administration, which relies on drugs to help fight covid disease by administering vaccines and tests, is calling for a limited number of drugs with a sales department that employs physicians or health care professionals with prescribing authority to directly administer medication. people who have tested well for the disease. The “test-to-treat” program is designed to ensure that people with covid immediately receive a course of antiviral medication because it is best if used within five days from the date. one will show symptoms.

Physicians say that their increase in covid has helped to increase their side effects.

“One of the main things that has come out of covid is that consumers are realizing that these drugs are providing these services that are better and more affordable and support their health,” he said. said B. Douglas Hoey, Executive Director of the National Community Pharmacists Association, reporting. benefits of independent medicine.

But doctors do not like this development. Medical groups objected to the taking of certain forms of care by physicians, nurses, medical assistants, and others without the care of physicians.

In November, the American Medical Association announced, which told physicians that since 2019, it has successfully implemented more than 100 legal measures to improve the quality of training for nonphysicians, called scope creep. The group also issued a statement criticizing the Biden administration’s plan to allow clinics to prescribe covid antiviral drugs, saying the program poses a threat to patient safety and harms patients. adverse health consequences. And the AMA is not responsible for a federal decision to allow drugs to give covid vaccines to children under 18.

Meanwhile, the American College of Physicians, which reports to internists, “opposes independent prescriptive requirements and the initiation of medication without a collective training agreement, the doctor said. or observation, or similar arrangement. “

The AMA did not respond to questions about the independent drug it was referring to, and the ACP declined to comment on its policy.

But are doctors right about patient safety if the doctor isn’t involved in the decision? Physicians say they want to provide care according to their training and expertise and they know their limits. And they find it important to schedule time to treat covid and other diseases.

They also note the rapid growth of medicine into multidisciplinary medical organizations that direct patient care in hospitals and health care systems.

“Physicians are professionals who are highly educated about how to deal with medicine,” said Rita Jew, a physician who is the president of the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, a wealthy company. Not focusing on the prevention of drug offenses. “We look at patients for well -being and side effects. So from that point of view, it’s not safe. It’s a worrying delay in treatment.

Many medical professionals want to expand their list of medical services, but the cost is limited. Medicines are not recognized as a service under Medicare and do not receive compensation when they are spent evaluating, testing, or treating patients. Many private providers follow Medicare’s guide on payment.

For many people, medications are simple and familiar. More than 90% of people in America live within 5 miles of a community clinic, and Medicare beneficiaries visit the clinic nearly twice as much as their primary care physician. .

Dr. Jeffrey Singer, a senior physician and senior fellow at the libertarian Cato Institute, wrote a new blog post showing physicians who oppose nonphysician prescribing are more concerned about competition. rather than disease prevention.

“Instead of trying to circumvent laws that could meet the needs of patients, the industry has a responsibility to persuade people who need to see a doctor,” he said. Singer in an interview, adding that he relied on the knowledge of the doctors in his. .continue. “I asked them, ‘Is there a specific problem with this drug?’ They have the software, and that’s what they learned to do.

In Arkansas, a 2021 law gives pharmacists the power to treat patients who receive point-of-care trials, while they follow statewide protocols established by the state of medicine and state medical board.

“There are a lot of experiments on the market right now that are quick and easy and can greatly increase access for those who don’t have the time or resources to go into a care. first care, ”said Scott Pace, a physician and owner of the Kavanaugh store in Little Rock, Arkansas.

But doctors don’t want to change doctors, Shipman said. “We want to go with the doctors,” he said. “We want to be more of a health care provider. In the midst of an illness, we need more help. It’s more of a burden to be borne by any provider.”

KHN (Kaiser Health News) is a government news agency that publishes in -depth news coverage on health issues. KHN is one of three major projects at KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation). KFF is a non -profit organization that provides information on health issues in the nation.

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