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ADVANCE Voice: NP

Ariz. Pharmacists Fight for Right to Immunize

Published February 3, 2009 9:50 AM by Jennifer Ford

Arizona pharmacists say they should be allowed by law to provide immunizations. Arizona physicians say they shouldn't. As reported in "Doctor-Pharmacist Turf War Erupts" by Phoenix's East Valley Tribune, HB 2164 would allow pharmacists to administer certain vaccinations without a prescription. Arizona pharmacists are currently allowed to give shots as long as the patient has a prescription.

 The Arizona Academy of Family Physicians says the practice would endanger patients, but it looks as though the state's government disagrees: The House Committee on Health and Human Services approved the bill with no dissent.

Pharmacists argue that they're qualified because they have extensive education in medications, yet physicians argue that they won't provide adequate patient education. Is this a case where the public will benefit from greater access, or should pharmacists receive more training in patient education before being allowed to give vaccines?

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