Pharmacists should not have to bend the rules

In response to the following article:


“Pharmacists should be allowed to make prescription changes”


Dear PIP editor,


I’m a UK educated pharmacist who moved to Ontario a few years ago. Most of the adaptations I do are things that UK pharmacists should legally be allowed to do in their own name rather than having to bend the rules and get a script later to cover the change needed.


Atenolol 100mg tabs out of stock? I can change to 50mg tabs.


Losartan hydrochlorothiazide out of stock? I can change to the separate tabs.


Does a doctor prescribe amoxicillin caps for a four-year-old? I can change to suspension.


Having this ability enhances patient care, prevents delays in treatment and saves healthcare practitioner time.


Adapting a dose on a prescription is difficult in community pharmacy due to the lack of access to patient records, however, it is much more viable for pharmacists working in GP offices or hospitals. Dose adaptation can be seen as analogous to supplementary prescribing in the UK.


There are a few reasons why this has not happened sooner. Access to patient records has always been a barrier in community pharmacy. The NHS is also slow to adapt on a national level and allowing pharmacists to adapt prescriptions would require a way for every pharmacist to be able to issue a prescription under their own name.


Doctors are also defensive of their prescriptions and I’m sure there would be objections to pharmacists being able to adapt prescriptions.


Yours etc.


Steve Gabell






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PIP editor

A pharmacist led training provider.

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