I want to thank Ms Vance for taking the time to respond to my editorial regarding the BC Pharmacy Association’s proposals to government. We both agree that all health care professionals need to do their part in providing patient-centred, safe, accessible care.
I have actually read the proposals but wonder if the significant cost savings outlined therein will be realized. For example, while it is true that physicians get paid more for a flu shot than pharmacists ($10.32 versus $10.00) this does not take in to account the significant number of flu vaccines administered for free by physicians during patients’ regular office visits. In this matter my question remains unanswered—have more patients been immunized at a lower cost to MSP since pharmacists started administering flu vaccine?
Regarding the logic of the potential conflict of interest, physicians do not sell any of the medications they prescribe, whereas pharmacists often have a financial interest in the pharmacies where they work.
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Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.
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