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French pharmacists to be able to dispense antibiotics without prescription

The Local France
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French pharmacists to be able to dispense antibiotics without prescription
Austrian pharmacies are running short of almost 600 medicines. Photo by Valentine CHAPUIS / AFP

French pharmacists have been given the ability to give out antibiotics without a prescription, for certain common infections starting on June 1st.

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Starting on June 1st, pharmacists in France will be able to dispense antibiotics without a doctor's prescription in certain cases.

This will be allowed initially for two common infections - cystitis and tonsillitis/strep throat (angines in French), which can both be confirmed by the pharmacist.

If you suspect you have either of these infections, you can go to the pharmacy to get a test, known as a Test Rapide d'Orientation Diagnostique or TROD.

If the test is positive, the pharmacist will be able to prescribe antibiotics without you having to visit a doctor.

The change was initially discussed in September, when then-prime minister Elisabeth Borne announced an expansion in the role of pharmacists in France.

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For all other types of conditions, a prescription from a doctor will still be required.

The move comes after a relaxation on the rules around vaccines allowing pharmacists to give eight common vaccines without a doctor's prescription - in addition to the Covid and seasonal flu vaccines which can already be accessed at a pharmacy without prescription. 

READ ALSO More than prescription - 11 things you can do at a French pharmacy

Pharmacists in France receive a minimum of six years of training and can offer medical advice for a range of conditions, as well as dispensing medication. Pharmacies are legally required to have at least one qualified pharmacist on the premises at all times.

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