- Move would assist patients to manage their own health and welfare, promoting a self-care agenda.
19 September 2014: The Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) is calling on the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) to allow further medicines to be made available from a pharmacist without a prescription. The call follows the HPRA's announcement last July of a number of medicines that should be reclassified from prescription-only medicines to over-the-counter medicines.
IPU President Kathy Maher said, "Pharmacists are the medicines experts and are the most accessible part of the healthcare system. Making it easier for people to access a wider range of medicines directly from their pharmacist would help them to safely manage their own health and wellbeing with the professional help of a trusted healthcare adviser. Pharmacists are uniquely positioned to advise on the treatment of minor ailments and to deliver on the Government's healthcare strategy of supporting patients in better managing chronic illness."
The IPU has been calling for a number of medicines to be made available without prescription for a number of years, in particular medicines such as:
• Chloramphenicol eye drops and ointment for bacterial conjunctivitis;
• fluconazole tablet or capsule for thrush; and
• low dose aspirin 75mg for prevention of heart disease and stroke.
"These medicines are available directly from pharmacists in the UK and other jurisdictions. There is no reason why they should not also be available to people in Ireland. We are calling, therefore, for more medicines to be made available without prescription, which will empower people to take more care of their own health, with appropriate advice and support from their pharmacist," Ms Maher concluded.