Fla. doctors say pharmacists shouldn't be able to change Rx

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Sept. 18, 2006

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The Florida Medical Assn. is moving to block a measure that would allow a pharmacist to alter a prescription without the doctor's approval.

The rule, approved by the Florida Board of Pharmacy, would permit pharmacists to substitute an equivalent drug that the patient's insurer lists as the preferred product. Pharmacists would need to notify the prescribing doctor within 24 hours.

FMA officials said the rule violates state law and endangers patients.

The rule "is a clear and very real endangerment to the well-being of Florida patients," because doctors write prescriptions based on a number of factors, including a patient's medical history and other drugs he or she may be taking, said Francesca Plendl, FMA's director of governmental affairs.

Florida Dept. of Health spokesman Fernando R. Senra said the change would "in no way" alter a physician's prescription without consent. The rule "would only accommodate the needs of many patients who struggle to meet the rising costs of health care and prescriptions," he said. An administrative law hearing was scheduled for Sept. 15, Plendl said.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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