The Community Impacts of Expanding the Role of Pharmacists
Keywords:pharmacist prescribing, pharmacist prescriber, medication safety, aged care, expanding pharmacy practice, student led
Prescribing rights for pharmacists will have countless benefits within our community and healthcare system. This includes the diagnosis, management and treatment for a number of disease states that significantly impact a patient’s life such as shingles, dermatitis and asthma. Nonetheless, the key point I want to emphasise is that when someone holds a prescribing right, they are also given the power to deprescribe. This is where the overlap between the two topics coincides. In the context of residential aged care facilities, deprescribing is a crucial method to solve the issue of patient harm due to inappropriate medications and polypharmacy. One of the most prescribed inappropriate medications in aged care facilities are psychotropics including antipsychotics, benzodiazepines and antidepressants, which can be misused as chemical restraints.2 Prescribing pharmacists would now be in the position to cease inappropriate medications. Thus, giving pharmacists prescribing rights will not only benefit the community in a pharmacy setting, but also the aged care setting.
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