Pharmacists in a Canadian province were granted authority to prescribe a limited number of medicines (normally available only to doctors) for seven minor ailments. This province was also the first to pay pharmacists for such encounters. The prescribing guidelines for the process were based on an important tenet – that of a patient’s self-diagnosis. During consults, pharmacists were expected to confirm patient assessments of the condition they felt they had. The reason this approach was taken, and the ability of the public to diagnose themselves, is discussed.
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