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'Pharmacists key to out-of-hours'

Dr John Galloway believes pharmacists should have more prescribing powers to relieve stretched GP out-of-hours services under the new contract.

Dr Galloway said: 'Pharmacists could treat sore throats, thrush and UTIs – if they had a limited antibiotic armoury it could really help the out-of-hours situation'.

Dr Galloway, a member of the steering committee of the Primary Care Gastroenterology Society and a GP in King's Lynn, Norfolk, was speaking after a proton pump inhibitor was licensed as an over-the-counter medicine.

From last Monday, pharmacists can sell omeprazole 10mg (Zanprol) to patients with recurrent bouts of reflux without the need for a GP prescription.

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