Pharmacists to Diagnose and Treat Sick, Relieving Other Health Care Professionals

March 30, 2022

Years ago, physicians were criticized and prohibited from selling therapeutics from their own offices as a conflict of interest, and this made some sense: If you’re profiting from selling a drug for a certain disease, that’s an incentive to diagnose that disease. But at least physicians had thorough training in pharmacology. Here we see that problem multiplied. Despite no training in clinical medicine — physical exam, ordering and interpreting lab and imaging tests, microbiology, pathology and histology — some pharmacists are examining patients, making diagnoses, and treating them with the drugs they sell for a profit. This is a conflict of interest not only of pharmacists to sell drugs, but of the pharmaceutical industry to market pharmacists. The article portrays this as a relief for the healthcare system. While it is, in fact, another sign of an ailing healthcare system needing reform, this particular method will do more harm than good to patients.