Tuesday, May 21 2013 4:00 PM EDT2013-05-21 20:00:20 GMT
If you drive down Versailles Street in South Huntsville, you're going to find some rocky spots here and there, but it's when you drive down the hill that you'll find the worst. More >>
If you drive down Versailles Street in South Huntsville, you're going to find some rocky spots here and there, but it's when you drive down the hill that you'll find the worst.More >>
Regulations could soon change the roles doctors and pharmacists play in medical care.
The FDA has a plan to create a new class of drugs that would be kept behind the counter, requiring a pharmacist consultation instead of a doctor prescription.
Only certain medications would be moved behind the counter, including those that regulate blood pressure, cholesterol, allergies and asthma.
Pharmacists are split on the plan. Some believe it will allow them to provide care to people who cannot afford doctor visits. Others think it is going too far.
"I'm all for it," pharmacist Hamp Russell said. "We have much more information available to us and much more knowledge we could share with patients."
However, pharmacists like Chris Phung oppose the plan.
"We support anything that expands the role of the pharmacist. Do we feel like we should play doctor? Absolutely not," Phung said.
Pharmacists agree, though, if the plan goes through, the FDA will have to come up with a way to compensate them for time spent consulting with patients about behind the counter drugs.
Some doctors say the idea is dangerous. Dr. Allen Meadows, an asthma and allergy specialist, is going to Washington, D.C. next week to lobby against it.
"The FDA has issued a number of scary warnings about asthma medicines, and we're kind of confused why one week these medicines are dangerous and harmful, and now the next week they're safe enough to go over the counter," Meadows said.
The FDA has not set a timeline for deciding on the plan. To read their full proposal, click here.