Future developments in UK pharmacy practice

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  • Future developments in UK phannacy practice

    CURRENT ISSUES

    In order to make progress in the pharmacy field, UK hospital pharmacists need to look to their US colleagues and 'seize the day', particularly in the area of pre-.crihing.* Miss Janet Lock from Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Hospital, Calow, UK, made this comment at a recent meeting of the United Kingdom Clinical Pharmacy Association [Leicestershire, UK; November 1998].1

    Look to the US She pointed out that many US states have already

    authorised prescribing by pharmacists, and that much can be learnt from the US experience. In the US, pharmacists were forming collaborative arrangements with physicians, whereby physicians make the diagnosis and prescribe the initial treatment, and pharmacists manage the continuity of treatment as they consider appropriate.

    At one Los Angeles hospital, pharmacists take patients' medical and drug histories, conduct basic medical examinations, evaluate drug treatment, educate patients, and review and order laboratory tests.

    However, before pharmacist prescribing can be introduced in the UK, Miss Lock believes that there is a need to develop protocols to ascertain which physician groups would form collaborations with pharmacists, as well as develop continuing education courses and modify existing pharmacy school programmes.

    Notably, both US and UK physicians are concerned that pharmacist prescribing will mean that their own positions are 'deskilled'.

    No escape from infonnation technology Meanwhile, Mr David Angaran from the American

    Society of Health-System Pharmacists urged pharmacists at the meeting to face the fact that the use of information technology would be an integral component of their practice in the new millennium. 2

    However, he acknowledged that it would be a challenge to integrate health information technology into pharmacy efficiently, effectively and safely.

    For example, he noted that one issue was how to define and write an 'information prescription' - a health telematics strategy relating to all the information and communications needed to support patient and population care plans. * see also Regulatory and Healthcare News section, this issue, pll; 800632467 1. Proactive approach to phannacist prescribing needed. Phannaceutical Journal 261: 870. 28 Nov 1998 2. Te1ephannacy - phannacists can run

    1173.5503198/0192.0005/$01 .00 Adlslnternetlonal Limited 1998. All rights rn.rved

    5

    PharmacoEconomics & Outcomes News 12 Dec 1998 No. 192

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