In order to unclog medical practices, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne announced on Thursday August 31 that she authorized pharmacists to “prescribe antibiotics” for cystitis and angina. But concretely what will this change? Response from a pharmacist and a general practitioner.
It was the start of the health announcements this Thursday, August 31. During a visit to Rouen, the Prime Minister announced more than a billion euros in salary increases for hospital caregivers, but also a practical measure that concerns us all: the possibility for pharmacists to prescribe antibiotics directly to patients with urinary infections or angina. The goal is to facilitate access to care in the territory.
The issuance of antibiotics only after a bacterial test
According to the announcement, the prescription of antibiotics would only intervene under conditions: in the case of cystitis and angina, for the moment, and “as soon as (the pharmacist) has carried out a test to confirm the bacterial origin” of the disease and an interview with the patient.
“To find out if it’s bacterial or viral, the pharmacist will do a rapid diagnostic orientation test so that he can then prescribe an antibiotic. This is very important, for example, in the case of cystitis. This is something that is lived regularly, often on weekends. It is extremely painful and there is this annoying side sometimes because you know what medicine you should take, the pharmacist knows it too but you do not have the prescription”, developed the Minister of Health Aurélien Rousseau this morning on Europe Info.
🔴New announcements on health: pharmacies will be able to deliver antibiotics➡️ “The logic is to facilitate access for French people to classic pathologies”, explains the Minister of Health, Aurélien Rousseau. Among other things, angina is concerned and cystitis pic.twitter.com/BWU8wVr37e
— franceinfo (@franceinfo) September 1, 2023
“A good measure… you still need to have the stocks” according to Yves Dour, pharmacist
On the practical side, the measure is well received by pharmacists: “This is great news for patients.” rejoiced Éric Myon, secretary general of the UNPF, the National Union of Pharmacies of Europe, invited Friday, September 1 on Europe Inter. “It will allow patients to do without doctors and to be treated quickly, especially in areas known as medical deserts” stresses for his part Yves Dour, doctor of pharmacy contacted by TipsForWomens. “If pharmacists were already authorized to perform TROD (rapid diagnostic orientation tests), they will no longer be attached to a coordinated place of practice such as a nursing home” he explains.
Will the act be simpler for all that? “Not necessarily”, tempers our expert. “Already, not all pharmacists do TRODs for angina, in particular. But above all, it must go with access to fosfomycin for urinary tract infections and amoxicillin for angina. However, these are currently stocks with very tight flows, which are lacking in pharmacies. So how to do it?”.
“It is not delegating these acts that will unclog the cabinets” for Dr Fabien Quédeville
Side attending physicians, the announcement is a little more cringe. The unions speak today of a “cache misery” measure. An argument explained to us by Dr. Fabien Quedeville, general practitioner:
“We should already know if delegating angina and urinary infections would relieve congestion in medical practices, there is no data available today on this. The real burden on physicians is administrative overload. But it’s amazing, that we never delegate it!” he laments.
What will be funny to manage are the patients who will call us for a work stoppage following a positive test https://t.co/CfjRygyUUg
— Dr Fabien Quedeville (@fquedeville) September 1, 2023
The doctor is not against the new attributions given to pharmacists, but he agitates a lack of coherence in government decisions.
“Giving more meaning to the profession of pharmacist by allowing them to administer vaccines, for example, I find that it is useful, because it is a one-time act, which is of service and increases vaccination coverage. is annoying, it is to delegate medical acts which require a clinical examination and which can, in addition in this case (the search for streptococcus) increase the prescription of antibiotics, in a context where we over-consume them. there is no longer any consistency in the organization of this healthcare system”.
The price of amoxicillin will increase from October
While Europe has been facing a shortage of 450 drugs for several months, the government also announced on August 29 an “agreement” concerning amoxicillin. In exchange for a 10% increase in its cost, manufacturers will be required to provide a sufficient quantity of drugs. Results: today, a box of 14 tablets costs 5.89 euros. As it is reimbursed at 65% by health insurance, the patient therefore pays 2.06 euros. Next October, this amount will increase to 2.29 euros.