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From: B. Harris)
Subject: Re: Your cruelty
Date: 2 Nov 1998 05:13:55 GMT

In <> (Jim Hardy) writes:

>I had no idea that this was true.  Is it at all common?  Does it mean,
>for instance, that if the pharamcist knew me well and knew I was
>taking one of the newer non-sedating prescription antihistamines that
>he could sell it to me without a doctor's prescription?  Or for that
>matter, if I brought him lab tests for amebas could he prescribe me
>Flagyl?  Or could he prescribe me the antihistamine Atarax (which I've
>used in Mexico with good success) for sleep?

  In theory, yes.  Though most pharmacists will avoid stuff which
requires a new diagnosis of something serious.  They limit
prescriptions to refills of stuff in emergencies, such as somebody
who's run out of a longstanding prescription for antihypertensives or
(of course) insulin.

   Still, it's nice to know for a lot of people that in the middle of
the night in a strange town they can still go to a 24 hour pharmacy and
get blood pressure pills or insulin, or a couple of emergency doses of
an antibiotic they've had many times before for the same problem (a
young woman with a recurrent urinary tract infection, for example).  Vs
having to pay big bucks for an ER visit.  My own reasonable
(non-anxious) patients get my 24 hour pager number which they know they
can use in such emergencies, to have me call something in.  But not all
doctors are as sweet as I am ;-9.

                                      Steve Harris, M.D.

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