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Pharmacists Highly Qualified To Provide Xenical

Pharmacists Highly Qualified To Provide Xenical Without Prescription

Wellington, 25 June 2004 – The Pharmaceutical Society supports the reclassification of Xenical from a prescription medicine to a restricted (pharmacist-only) medicine and rejects suggestions that pharmacists are not qualified for the role.

Pharmacists are highly qualified health professionals. Their training involves a 4-year university degree course followed by a further year of training in either a community or hospital pharmacy where they gain practical experience. Only after 5 years of study and training and when the Pharmaceutical Society is satisfied that they have the skills, attitudes and knowledge required, can they become a registered pharmacist.

“Pharmacists are in an ideal situation to assist New Zealanders to lose weight – we are approachable, readily accessible, and have the expertise to identify suitable people for Xenical,” said Euan Galloway, Pharmacy Practice Manager of the Pharmaceutical Society. “Xenical is a clinically proven and safe option for weight loss when used in conjunction with an appropriate diet. The contraindications and warnings are clear and appropriate for pharmacists to check and advise on.”

“Pharmacists are central to the community regularly providing advice and support on a range of health issues. A pharmacist is able to spend time more frequently with patients than a doctor, providing information, encouragement and advice about weight loss, healthy eating and physical activity. Pharmacists are also able to provide ongoing support which will be complemented by the Xenical Support Programme run by New Zealand registered dietitians.”

The College of Pharmacists has developed a series of training workshops on weight management for pharmacists as part of their continuing professional development. This training will enable pharmacists to meet the accreditation standards for supplying Xenical following a face to face consultation with the person. The Pharmaceutical Society Council has been proactive in developing best practice guidelines for supply of other medicines without prescription such as the emergency contraceptive pill.

“We look forward to the reclassification of Xenical and being able to provide a more comprehensive weight loss service for New Zealanders.”

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