Forum: should pharmacists be selling OTC NSAIDs?

“Should there be tighter control of the OTC provision of these drugs? Should they be prescription only? Is the risk starting to outweigh the benefits? What alternatives could we offer patients?”
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  1. Ashim Marfatia

    I’m amused by the question of “whether pharmacists should be selling NSAIDs” whilst some NSAIDs are readily available next to the Mars Bars at the checkout of the supermarket.

    Surely the risks are not “starting to outweigh” the benefits. Surely the risks and benefits need to be weighed up between a health professional and an informed patient, rather than a person at a supermarket checkout and a consumer who assumes that the Nurofen is as safe as a Mars Bar.

    Why are you proposing that a doctor should have to prescribe all NSAID’s when pharmacists are qualified and trained to make that recommendation? A pharmacist is also qualified to refer a patient to the doctor if she or he feels that there are risks that need to be managed.

    Bear in mind that most Australian pharmacies operate with care and responsibility, and balance their retail prerogatives against their professional care responsibilities. Most of us put the patient before the sale – I can’t speak on behalf of the larger discount pharmacies where this balance may be different.

  2. amanda cronin

    I think informed individuals can make their own decisions in regards to this. I know for many the higher quality pain relief and improved quality of life make the risk worth it. Pharmacists can provide this information better then a GP anyway who often prescribe them to people they really shouldn’t.

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