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Op-ed calls for pharmacist involvement in medical marijuana


The Sun-Sentinel this week published an op-ed from Nova Southeastern University College of Pharmacy associate professor Paul DeMuro, in which he calls for pharmacists to play a central role in medical marijuana dispensing. 


DeMuro notes that pharmacists are uniquely qualified to help understand how a patient will respond to marijuana and its side effects, as well as its interaction with a patient’s existing medication regimen.


“The pharmacy profession, being the experts in medication utilization, should be one of the leaders in such a response,” he writes. “Pharmacists can help decide if marijuana is the right way to treat an ailment, what dose is appropriate, and in what form.”


DeMuro points to Minnesota as an example of how a system with pharmacists at the center of medical marijuana could be beneficial. 


“In Minnesota, pharmacists select and dispense medical marijuana for patients after discussing what their disease state is and goals of therapy, to ensure that appropriate doses and formulations can be selected,” he writes. “This allows the physician to focus on identifying who is eligible to benefit from medical marijuana, while empowering an equally evidence-driven pharmacist to help collaboratively decide how to best treat the patient.”


The op-ed comes less than a week after Canadian chain Shoppers Drug Mart applied for a medical marijuana production license, which was done with the goal of dispensing medical marijuana, as only establishments licensed to product medical marijuana can dispense it. Loblaw and Shoppers Drug Mart VP external communication told Drug Store News, “We believe that allowing medical marijuana to be dispensed through pharmacy would increase access, safety, quality and security for the thousands of Canadians who use the drug as part of their medication therapy.” 


To read the full op-ed, click here


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