AAOM Past Presidents in ADA News

MyView: Does dentistry have a role in health care?

The ADA News (“Who Calls the Shots?,” April 1, 2013) reported that the Illinois Dental Society suggested that dentists offer flu shots, reasoning that this would increase the availability of the vaccine and the percentage of the public being immunized. The Illinois Medical Association promptly objected, stating that such a procedure was outside the scope of dental practice. However, when pharmacies began offering in-store flu vaccination in 2009, even though retail pharmacists have historically never administered, much less injected, drugs to patients without specific orders from licensed prescribers such as physicians and dentists, there was no discernible pushback, comment or even question about it. Interestingly, this expansion of pharmacy practice did not occur because of any evolution of pharmacy training and education. It occurred, according to health care writer Bruce Japsen, because Walgreens and CVS lobbied state by state to modify practice acts to take advantage of a $6 billion dollar-per-year market. (“How Flu Shots Became Big Sales Booster For Walgreens, CVS.” Forbes, Feb. 8, 2013).

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