The idea was an amendment to the projet de loi de financement de la Sécurité sociale 2019, put forward by LREM MP Delphine Bagarry.
Under the plan, pharmacists would have been allowed to dispense particular drugs for certain illnesses such as cystitis, conjunctivitis or eczema in order to speed up treatment.
Ms Bagarry said the aim was “to make it easier for the French to access the care they need by drawing on everyone’s skills”. It followed a decision to allow pharmacists to perform vaccinations.
Pharmacists supported the plan and it also received cautious approval in public consultations but MPs agreed with doctors who had voiced strong opposition.
“This is a complete questioning of the contours of the profession: it amounts to giving the pharmacist responsibility for a medical diagnosis and the prescription of drugs usually prescribed by a doctor,” said Jean-Paul Ortiz, president of the CSMF doctors union.