The Pharmacists Society of the State of New York wants to expand the scope of practice of pharmacists so they can prescribe drugs in certain situations. The group says change is needed if pharmacists are to prosper under managed care. Independent pharmacies in particular have been hit hard as managed plans have directed patients to chain drug stores and mail order prescription fulfillment services.
The society supports a bill that is expected to go before the legislature this year that would allow pharmacists — using a written protocol from a doctor — to adjust dosages, order lab tests and prescribe medications for routine ailments. Pharmacists say the change would benefit physicians by freeing them to spend more time with other patients. That argument that has failed to sway the Medical Society of the State of New York, which opposes the measure.