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Podiatrist antibiotic access

Podiatrists will be allowed to supply antibiotics to their patients under new Department of Health plans.

The UK drug regulator's drug safety experts have agreed to allow podiatrists to sell or supply amoxicillin, erythromycin and flucloxacillin for short term-use for foot infections such as infected corns.

GP prescribing experts gave the decision a cautious welcome, saying it would cut GP workload, but warned that podiatrists had to receive sufficient training.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, member of the GPC prescribing sub-committee and a GP in Stanmore, Middlesex, said: 'This would relieve GPs from the burden of prescribing antibiotics for foot infections.'

But he warned: 'Ultimately the system will only work if podiatrists are given sufficient training and work to agreed protocols and connect their prescribing with their GPs'.'

The Commission on Human Medicines decided at a meeting in April that 150 hours of pharmacology at undergraduate level, and three-yearly drug updates, was adequate training

for podiatrists to supply antibiotics.

But it warned the proposals for how drugs were administered and maximum periods of dose needed to be clarified.

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