A war of words erupted between the supreme body of general practitioners and the owners of community pharmacies, with one accused of fueling a media frenzy after labeling the other out of control.
The confrontation was sparked by reports of a speech delivered by Professor Trent Toomey, president of the Pharmacy Guild.
In a speech to students in Canberra, Twomey called for pharmacists to be given greater power to prescribe drugs.
“The Australian Pharmacy Guild does not endorse that I can only prescribe if someone else is looking over my shoulder,” Mr Twomey said, reporting to the Australian Journal of Pharmacy.
“I never see a plumber needing to look over an electrician’s shoulder before installing an air conditioner.”
He continued to explore the benefits of being able to prescribe, dispense, administer and review medicines for pharmacists.
Dr Nicole Higgins, Dean of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, said the speech was amazing.
“The Pharmacy Guild is out of control,” Higgins said in a statement.
She said the speech should send shivers down the spines of politicians around the world.
“The language used, the brash attitude towards a very serious health care issue, and the underlying arrogance of this speech show that the pharmacy guild needs to be approached with caution.”
Twomey spoke about the problems reportedly facing the entire healthcare system.
In Queensland, pharmacists are allowed to restock and prescribe certain medications, and similar pilots are underway in Victoria and New South Wales as part of a way to reduce pressure on GP clinics. It is deployed.
Higgins said “stop-around solutions” such as expanding prescribing powers will not solve the GP crisis.
“Part of the skill of general practice is knowing when not to prescribe,” Higgins said.
“The pharmacy guild seems to think that medicine can solve everything.
“Pharmacists do not have the expertise and training to perform the function of prescribing drugs. This is a job that should be left to practitioners.”
The pharmacy union countered, saying Twomey stood by his speech and said he had always spoken out in the best interest of patients while promoting safe, evidence-based healthcare.
“It is unfortunate, but understandable, that (the GP group) repurposed Twomey’s comments and fueled the media frenzy,” the spokesperson said in a statement.