Do not expand the scope of work of already overworked pharmacists

What’s the news: AMA was introduced by the U.S. House of Representatives to improperly allow pharmacists to provide services that would otherwise be covered if they were provided by a physician, even though the pharmacist did not have the same extensive education and training as a physician. (PDF).

The bill is HR 1770, “Community Equitable Access to Pharmacist Services Act,” which states that pharmacists should be protected from COVID-19, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza, and other public health concerns. permits the examination and treatment of patients for possible future illnesses related to emergency situations. Medicare payments to pharmacists will also expand.

The AMA opposed a bill of the same title in the last Congress (PDF), and despite amendments to the bill introduced in the 118th Congress, the bill still threatens patient safety and pharmacists. has expanded the scope of its business. The bill, sponsored by Nebraska Republican Rep. Adrian Smith and co-sponsored by Illinois Democrat Brad Schneider, is referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Fighting scope creep is a key component of the AMA recovery plan for American physicians.

Patients are entitled to care directed by their physicians, the most highly educated, trained and skilled medical professionals. The AMA vigorously defends medical practice against extended practice that threatens patient safety.

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Why it matters: Pharmacists are well-trained pharmacists within multidisciplinary teams. However, training in patient care is limited. Most of the nation’s Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) curricula consist of instruction in applied sciences and therapeutics.

On-site training is not mandatory and the vast majority of pharmacists working in the community do not have on-site training. Furthermore, their limited “hands-on experience” training is not focused on providing care to patients.

As such, the AMA has added new language to HR 1770 to enable pharmacists to assess and manage patients for testing and treatment for COVID-19, influenza, RSV, or strep throat. I am particularly interested.

“While we greatly value the contribution of pharmacists to our physician-led health care team, their training consists of four years of training in medical school, three to seven years of apprenticeships, and the 10,000-10,000 training required for a pharmacist. That’s not comparable to 16,000 hours of clinical training,” AMA executive vice president and CEO James L. Madara, MD, said in a letter to Representatives Smith and Schneider. . “The bottom line is that pharmacists do not have the necessary education or training to fill the role of physicians, and this fact alone raises serious concerns about the fundamental merits of the legislation.”

Additionally, community pharmacists report that they already have too much work to do and can’t keep up with everything. Expanding the scope of work as proposed in this bill would only add additional responsibilities to an overburdened pharmacist workforce and compromise patient safety due to inadequate training in these activities. will threaten.

In the letter, Dr. Madara cited a survey that found that 91% of community pharmacists rate their workload as “too much or too much”, saying, “The problem appears to be systemic. ‘ wrote.

Pharmacists identified the following as the most common “highly stressful” aspects of their working lives:

  • I have too much to do and I can’t make it all work out.
  • You are working at your current staffing level.
  • Concerns that patients will be harmed by medication errors.

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For these reasons, Dr. Madara writes, “It is inappropriate to empower pharmacists to diagnose, prescribe, or assume the role of physician.”

Ensuring access to community-based health care is important, but the solution is to keep overworked pharmacists from providing untrained health care.

learn more: Explore the information below to find out more about why education is important to the scope of medical practice.

  • Comparing nurses and doctors.
  • Physician assistant compared to doctor.
  • A comparison of nurse anesthesiologists and anesthesiologists.
  • Comparing psychologists and psychiatrists.
  • A comparison of naturopaths and doctors.

Physicians are trained to lead, and the AMA strongly supports physician-led medical teams. More than 90% of her patients say that years of doctor education and training are essential for optimal patient care, especially when complications and medical emergencies arise.

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