There are calls for pharmacists to be allowed to prescribe over the counter products without reference to GPs.
Dublin-based pharmacist Sheena Mitchell has written to incoming Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, suggesting that chemists should be able to give out medication for illnesses like conjunctivitis and shingles.
“At the moment, if you’ve a patient who is using an over the counter product and they have a medical card, they have to go to the GP to get a physical prescription for that product and then bring it into the pharmacy,” she explained to Newstalk.
“In the UK, for example, even when I was there back in 2006 that long ago, we were allowed to write a prescription for an over the counter product.”
Ms Mitchell believes such a change would cut GP waiting times and reduce pressure on the health service.
Main image: A sign of pharmacy store. Picture by: Isabel Infantes / EMPICS Entertainment.