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Old 04-30-2012, 06:04 PM
 
Location: Whereever we have our RV parked
8,035 posts, read 7,059,971 times
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Article published today indicates that the FDA is considering loosening restrictions so that people can buy some drugs that they now need a prescription for, in order to lessen costs and demands on Drs. to write a prescription for every person that needs an antibiotic or other common drugs that are actually pretty safe. Pharmacists would be able to give more help to customers to advise them on their drug needs.

Personally, I think this is long over due. In many countries, even Mexico, people can do this already, and their population is not nearly as well educated as is ours. Why do I need to see a Dr. every time I have a sinus infection? I think its great because it cuts out the dr. from mundane patient care so they have more time to take care of people who really do need to see the doctor.
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Old 04-30-2012, 07:00 PM
 
Location: In a house
13,258 posts, read 34,623,814 times
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Pharmacists aren't diagnosticians. If you've never had a sinus infection before, how would you know that a) you have one now and b) the infection you have requires antibiotics?

If you get sinus infections every season, I agree it's time consuming and annoying to have to get a prescription.

However. I still think that ultimately, someone needing drugs that have the potential for serious harm (such as chronic use of antibiotics) should still involve a doctor. Perhaps it'd make sense to lighten the restrictions, without eliminating them.

For example - physicians would be -allowed- to call prescriptions into the pharmacy without requiring the patient to come to the office first. In this way, someone who has already been diagnosed, and the doctor already knows they have a chronic problem, and this patient is experiencing the same symptoms as usual - the doctor can call the pharmacy with the script, and the patient doesn't have to go to the doctor first.

Maybe if the doctor feels he should get paid for this service, they can add a new code to insurance policies for "call in service" at just $20 flat rate, no co-pay necessary. Either the insurance covers it 100% or they don't cover it at all, but that would be the physician's rate for the call-in service.

And that could be for any drug currently requiring a prescription, but that the FDA feels the patient doesn't really need to see the doctor face-to-face to get.
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Old 04-30-2012, 07:14 PM
 
Location: Monadnock region
3,712 posts, read 9,333,631 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnonChick View Post
For example - physicians would be -allowed- to call prescriptions into the pharmacy without requiring the patient to come to the office first. In this way, someone who has already been diagnosed, and the doctor already knows they have a chronic problem, and this patient is experiencing the same symptoms as usual - the doctor can call the pharmacy with the script, and the patient doesn't have to go to the doctor first.
It's that's been allowable for years! the dr I had for 20+ years (before he dropped all HMOs 4 years ago and I have to leave him. though.. I haven't seen any dr since!) and I did just that. He knew I have chronic tendonitis in any joint from shoulder to wrist from doing massage for 20 years. And that I sometimes have seasonal allergies. I didn't have to go see him, just called in and said whatever was back and could I have a script for naprosyn or allegra (depending) and left the phone # for the pharmacy. He called it in. Unfortunately I don't have a long standing relationship with a dr like that now <sigh>. Luckily, I've been getting by with dosing up the aleve and self-treating a bit.

However it is true that if it's something you don't know for sure what it is (How do you know if it's a sinus infection or a dental problem - they can both put painful pressure on the tooth roots), it's better to see someone. I guess if people buy antibiotics and it doesn't work, then they'll eventually go see the dr. people have been over-doing antibiotics for years anyway
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Old 05-01-2012, 01:44 PM
 
Location: Portlandia "burbs"
10,236 posts, read 13,523,621 times
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This can have some repercussions, too. Some of the drugs, like Prilosec, go OTC and are expensive. Unless one is lucky enough to be on a Flexible Spending Account through an employer, people can end up paying more for these meds without the insurance coverage.
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Old 05-01-2012, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Tigard, Oregon
852 posts, read 2,476,453 times
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Obama did away with the ability to use FSA/HSA funds for OTC in 2011. Meds no longer covered as RX, WILL absolutely cost more out of pocket.
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Old 05-01-2012, 03:48 PM
 
Location: Portlandia "burbs"
10,236 posts, read 13,523,621 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoso1979 View Post
Obama did away with the ability to use FSA/HSA funds for OTC in 2011. Meds no longer covered as RX, WILL absolutely cost more out of pocket.
Well, you can still get reimbursed for the OTC through the FSA/HSA by having the doctor write "prescriptions". I have to do this for Advil, since I have to take enough to merit his time doing it. He admittedly hates futzing with it, and it's a BIG pain for me, too. It's all absolutely stupid.
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Old 05-01-2012, 04:27 PM
 
Location: Tigard, Oregon
852 posts, read 2,476,453 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluesmama View Post
Well, you can still get reimbursed for the OTC through the FSA/HSA by having the doctor write "prescriptions". I have to do this for Advil, since I have to take enough to merit his time doing it. He admittedly hates futzing with it, and it's a BIG pain for me, too. It's all absolutely stupid.
I tried that with pseudafed and the dr thought I was nuts. THEN my plan removed it from the formulary or list of covered medications.
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