With all of the concern regarding the corona virus, the flu is still affecting 19 million people in the United States. States like Florida are pushing to allow pharmacists to test and treat both the flu and strep throat. Do you think pharmacists should be able to test for, diagnose and treat these illnesses?

Friday, March 13, 2020 Mar 13, 2020 632
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The Freezing Senior


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Seriously the first time someone has either a bad reaction or requires hospitalization as a result of a misdiagnosis and treatment by a pharmacist and is sued for malpractice, the number of pharmacists signing up to do this will drop like a stone. However, I am sure the trial lawyers are big proponents of this legislation. Just a thought.

Marie M

I agree with PaulE, there could be tragic occurrences. It would be better if people do the job they studied/trained for. On a good note, President Trump is doing a fantastic job in the handling of the Wuhan virus. Let us not forget where this all began, was it to destroy our economy?


People may not realize this but pharmacists train to be doctors first and then go on to do further training to become pharmacists. Just like a surgeon will first train to be a doctor and then take further training to be a surgeon. Surely they could treat strep throat and hand out what is needed for it. I always ask my pharmacist when my doctor gives me a new drug to double check what the doctor is doing. I can’t tell you how many times I have avoided issues when my pharmacist pointed out that I should not take something with some of the other prescriptions I was already taking. A lot of doctors don’t know as much about prescriptions as the pharmacist do. FYI. I am NOT a pharmacist but I do work at a hospital and know quite a few good doctors and pharmacists.


What people don’t realize is that you just can’t train someone to recognize and properly diagnose only a limited number of ailments. A surgical doctor once told me he has to be aware of all the other ailments that have similar symptoms and the possibility of multiple conditions being present, too. Proper diagnosing can be very difficult. Even nurse practitioners operate under the auspices of a physician.
Only physicians should be responsible for diagnosing. Should aircraft mechanics be allowed to direct traffic in control towers?


No, I don’t–as a pharmacy technician, I see first hand how much the pharmacists have to do–our pharmacies add inoculations to the pharmacists’ duties not too long ago–and that takes an inordinate amount of time–with prescription reviews, customer interaction and many other things, adding these new duties would be entirely too much.

Wendy Smith

I absolutely think they could lighten the load by performing the swab test for COVID-19, and then referring patients to their family/primary care provider. Pharmacists are valuable resources/consultants for all drug and drug interactions, however I do not feel they are trained to be medical providers. Their day-to-day activities actually do not include taking histories and performing medical exams, making assessments and diagnosing, that is not where their expertise is focused. If their pharmacy has a Nurse Practitioner/Physician Assistant on staff, then that would be an alternative to the doctor’s office. Healthcare is extremely complex, especially in dealing with people who have co-morbidities. It requires a diverse group of providers and specialists in collaboration to provide the healthcare every community needs.

David L Reinke

I have both a pharmacy and MD degrees and I feel that the education and training are different,thus making the training from the MD standpoints better to address the issue you pose in your scenario.

Thomas E Krott

I think it is ok for a Pharmacist to provide some preventive care such as flu shots and other immunizations as long as the individual is not sick. However having pharmacies flooded with sick people is not a good idea. This could lead to more unsupecting contaminations.

John Karkalis

It must be a slow week for polls.
The letters “MD” have a specific meaning ” “Doctor of Medicine “. Unless the rules have changed, pharmacists do not go through the rigorous hands on experience of internship and residency.
I trust my pharmacist to explain how a medication is to be used and any side effects or interactions with other drugs. I trust my primary care physician to diagnose and treat.
In a related context the sorting out of specialties occurred long ago when a distinction was drawn between “Surgeons of the Long Robe”, and “Surgeons of the Short Robe”, i.e. barbers and doctors.
I have great respect for my primary care physician and my pharmacist. They are both indispensable.

Joseph A Giuliano

My father was a pharmacist. Old style and he referred to himself as a druggist. I am sure he would have been fine with this and tended to the poorer people in the neighborhood all the time.


After the last 11 1/2 years of the Obama/Biden “Navigators” screwing up America’s Healthcare System thru Obamacare.American’s have had more then enough of Government run healthcare!


They should be able to test only. Both groups are very busy now. Would pharmacist be required to buy malpractice insurance. Need more pa’s and np’s instead.


When I was growing up we had a neighbor who was a pharmacist and he was very knowledgeable and helped out the neighborhood making many good suggestions.
Currently I have a small Town pharmacist who I trust as much as a doctor.
Its truly a shame that we have become so litigious which I suppose would hinder any progress in this respect.

Tom M

Unbeknownst to us, mostly due to the total misinformation doled out by the heartless and insane media, many of the people who have died from Coronavirus had significant immune problems and/or other sicknesses and diseases. As far as letting Pharmacies become part time doctors, I am not sure about that. Is it another stepping stone for Big Pharma to use to allow pharmacists to administer their drugs? I usually treat my own sickness and seldom see a doctor. I do not trust the current medical mafia to be concerned with my health beyond sticking their hands into my pockets digging for money.


As long as they also do the appropriate testing, why not. I went to my family Dr thinking I had the flu and the practical nurse wouldn’t test me since I only had the symptoms for 24 hours. She told me to come back the next day. Left there and went to urgent care. Seems the rule is, find out within 48 hrs and it can be treated with antiviral drugs.

John Potts

Most pharmacies that I use don’t have large seating areas so this change might overload these areas. If there was a national health emergency I would think limited treatment by pharmacists would be ok but not any other time. In addition it would bring very sick and contagious individuals in contact with otherwise healthier people. Conclusion: pharmacies are not set up to handle such situations and it would also take them away from their primary function of filling prescriptions. Do we want overworked people handling our medications?

Dan W.

Given that many patients with flu or strep are initially diagnosed and treated by Nurse Practitioners, pharmacists could also be trained to diagnose and treat flu or strep. However, until pharmacists receive the appropriate training (and until pharmacists update their malpractice coverage), diagnosis and treatment of flu and strep should not be done by pharmacists.


Not a good idea to have infected people lined up in grocery stores, Walmart’s, etc with potential flu or strep throat viruses.


Most of the tests are administer by nurses or other medical staff and if done correctly would make time for doctors to treat more patients once results are verified