Who would you trust more to prescribe medicine, your doctor or the phamacist? While your family physician may know what the health problem is, would he be more knowledgeable about the prescription medicine he is prescribing for you, or the pharmacist? I think i would trust the pharmacist opinion, over my family physicians, as he would know more about the prescription medicine than the physician.  I would be interested in your thoughts on this. 

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That should be " Who would be more qualified to prescribe medicine, your doctor or your pharmacist" ??

Good Morning All

After having worked in the Health Care field for over 35 yr, I'm not sure that this is a fair question. I personnaly feel that the Doctor and the Pharmacist should be working hand in hand for the best treatment of you, the patient!!

The pharmacist cannot prescribe your meds, but having said that, he/she have contact with your Doctor to find out which med is best for you!

I also realize that this is not always the way our system works!

Hello Again

I would like to throw a monkey wrench into this conversation. The lab is actually those who determine which antibiotics are effective to combat infections....should the Lab, therefore, have the "Power" to authorize antibiotics?

Other medications are prescribed by the physcian, for conditions, such as cancer, arthritis, diabetis etc. Along the same line, in many cases the lab determines what a patients blood sugar is, so should the lab determine when, and how insulin should be administered?

I still maintain that theoretically the physician and the pharmacist are the people who are "Trained and Qualified" to determine what med should be given and they should be working together!

Good point Stan, yes, maybe the lab should be responsible for prescribing certain medicines....never thought of that, thank you for bringing it to my attention. maybe i should change the title of this discussion to include the Lab as well, as that is something to consider in this discussion. Thank you Stan

Stan said:

Hello Again

I would like to throw a monkey wrench into this conversation. The lab is actually those who determine which antibiotics are effective to combat infections....should the Lab, therefore, have the "Power" to authorize antibiotics?

Other medications are prescribed by the physcian, for conditions, such as cancer, arthritis, diabetis etc. Along the same line, in many cases the lab determines what a patients blood sugar is, so should the lab determine when, and how insulin should be administered?

I still maintain that theoretically the physician and the pharmacist are the people who are "Trained and Qualified" to determine what med should be given and they should be working together!

The pharmacist of course
From my perspective, the most important criteria is how much information the person prescribing the drug has about your medical history, your current medications and the medication required to assist you with your new condition.  Unless you have used a walk-in clinic or the emergency department of a hospital, that person is most likely to be your treating physician.  To the best of my knowledge, the lab would be looking at your 'condition' in isolation i.e., would not have access to a simple thing such as your weight..which may or may not indicate the suggested dosage of a particular medication.  The lab also would possibly not know what drug allergies you have or other medications you are currently taking.  While the pharmacist should be in a good position to know which medications are currently available and, if you only use a particular pharmacy, your drug allergies and the possible inter-action of a new drug with your existing medications, they will not have as much information about your health as your physician does.  In an ideal world, the lab, physician and pharmacist would work together to prescribe the ideal medication.   

As a retired Medical Technologist, who worked in hospital lab for better than 35 yr, I can tell you a few things, for example the lab, particularly in a hosp setting, performs blood sugar determinations,. Does this mean the lab should be responsible for determining the insulin dosage of that patient....definitely not!! The lab also receives swabs, both in patient and occasionally out patients...they perfom cultures to determine what, in any bacteria is causing an infection. Once the bacteria is identified, the lab performs antibiotic sensitivity tests which will tell just which antibiotics will get rid of the infection. The lab is usually told [depending upon the efficiency of the nurse/doctor who takes the swab originally] which antibiotics the patient is on presently.

I do not by any means recommend that the lab be responsilbe for issuing prescrptions. I do, however, strongly feel that when the "system" is working properly, the doctor and the pharmacist put their heads together to determine what the best med is for the particular condition. After all, the pharmacist "Is Not" aware of all the medical conditions of each patient. On the other hand the Doctor is not aware, usually because he/she is so busy, is not aware of all of the newer types of meds that are available! I can guarantee you that if the pharmacist and the doctor worked hand in hand patient care would would be much better!



Stan said:

"I do not by any means recommend that the lab be responsilbe for issuing prescrptions. I do, however, strongly feel that when the "system" is working properly, the doctor and the pharmacist put their heads together to determine what the best med is for the particular condition."

 

Very well said, Stan.  I feel blessed because my GP also has a degree in pharmacology (think that's the right term) and owns a pharmacy  and he is NOT a pill-pusher.  The best of both worlds. 

I have just returned from a clinic appointment with a friend.  Last week she was given a prescription by a doctor in the Emergency dept. of a hospital.  Today she had an appointment with a physician that the hospital had arranged for her.  The doctor today said that he was going to increase the dosage of the medication prescribed for her last week and told her to throw the balance of last week's script away.  I took the new prescription into the pharmacy to have it filled and the pharmacist told me to tell my friend to simply take 2 of the original pills until she ran out of them and then to switch to taking 1 of the new pills.  This underlined for me that doctors are very busy people and do not always catch or recommend the obvious even though it is right infront of them.  This was a simple mistake on the physician's part (new dosage exactly twice the original) and was not one that would have caused any harm other than the patient being a few dollars lighter in the pocket.  Nevertheless, it was an oversight or misstatement on the physician's part and one which the pharmacist quickly noticed.  Perhaps one of the pharmacists' roles should be to act as a peer reviewer or quality assurance reviewer for the prescribing physicians - another way of putting it is that they could assume a role of being advocates for the patients.  I must admit that I think that many pharmacists do work in an advocacy role now, albeit perhaps not a formalized one.  I'm possibly talking out of my hat because I have no knowledge of the rules and/or regulations and responsibilities of a pharmacist.  For all I know they already have formalized requirements to assume the roles I have suggested. 

While the information regarding new medications is sent out to Doctors and they are even given samples to give to their patients there is no follow up to check that they even read the material.  In the case of a Pharmacist they have to be signed off on each new drug before they can fill a prescription.  This includes a point review, from where they are advised to review the material if there are any issues of misunderstanding that arise.

My husband is taking several medications, some which have possible side effects that can occur in combination with other drugs.  There have been several instances where the Pharmacist has had to call the Doctor (both GPs and a couple Specialists) to change the prescription to something that is compatible.

Over time I have formed a very dim view of most of the medical profession.  Very few are actually "care givers".

Hi Janice

It's too bad about your experiences with the medical profession. However having said that, doctors, pharmacists and other health care professionals are only human and unfortunately they can make mistakes...sometimes very serious mistakes.

You do realize that any prescription medication may have a cross interference with other prescribed meds...this is also true about over the counter medications [i.e. couch meds, decongestants etc]. If you are the least bit concerned about a prescription, you should consult your pharmacist, who "should" in turn contact your doctor.

My wife and I are both on several prescriptions, some "could" cross react, but fortunately, our pharmist and doctor work well together and in my opinion for our well being.

If you are unhappy with your doctor, change doctors and if you are unhappy with your pharmacy, change pharmacies.  I'm not sure just where your discontent is, either doctor or pharmacist!

My wife and I lived in the Owen Sound area for several years and now we live in St Marys [both relatively small communities] and we have had probably the medical care that anyone could ask for!

Gabriel

I do agree with you to point BUT, your Doctor may not be as up to date regarding the newer meds as a Pharmacist. Therefore, I stand by my former statement that the doctors and the pharmacists SHOULD work together...and from experience, I definitely know that they always do not not work together. I also agree that you should you as a patient should work with your Dr and not play games with him/her.

Any doctor is as likely to be up to date on the latest meds as any pharmacist. More important, only your doctor is aware of the details of your condition, since he was the person who diagnosed your condition. As such, that doctor is the most qualified to prescribe a course of treatment - including all drugs.

 

A pharmacist is not trained to diagnose health issues and certainly not trained to design a course of treatment, including drug treatments. It would be insane to expect a pharmacist to appropriately prescribe in most cases.

 

Where a pharmacist sees a potential error in in a prescription, either because of quantities or drug interaction conflicts, he is acting properly is questioning a doctor's prescription but not (in my opinion) in altering the doctor's prescribed course of treatment on his own volition.

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