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Pharmacists 'could dispense some medicines'

New law allowing pharmacists to diagnose and treat certain conditions to be considered by MPs

Pharmacists in France may soon be able to dispense certain medicines without a doctor's prescription, if an amendment to be considered by politicians becomes law.

The proposed law change is similar to one rejected by the Assembly last autumn during debates on the Social Security Financing Act, following a backlash from doctors, who argued that pharmacists should not be allowed to make diagnoses.

But it has been suggested that the latest amendment, set to be tabled by Charente MP Thomas Mesnier on Thursday, February 28, could pass this time, according to Franceinfo when it comes up for debate in March 2019.

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The amendment would allow pharmacists to legally diagnose and treat minor ailments, "such as cystitis, conjunctivitis, small inflammatory dermatitis," when a patient is unable to attend a doctor, Carine Wolf-Thal, a pharmacist in Rouen and president of the Order of Pharmacists told the news website.

"In real life, it happens to us ... that pharmacists deliver without a prescription," she said. "It is precisely to regulate these practices, secure these practices and facilitate access to care that we would be delighted to see this amendment come into being [...] to meet this request for access to unscheduled care."

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Subscribe to access all our online articles and receive our printed monthly newspaper The Connexion at your home. News analysis, features and practical help for English-speakers in France

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