HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Akron Univ. School of Law

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Thursday, December 22, 2005

Should Physicians Prescribe Tamiflu On Demand?

Here's a terrific article in today's New England Journal of Medicine:

The Run on Tamiflu — Should Physicians Prescribe on Demand? A. S. Brett and A. Zuger Extract | FREE Full Text | PDF

Bottom line: "Thus, an individual physician has no obligation to prescribe oseltamivir in response to a patient's request — a position that discourages prescribing of the drug but does not prohibit it. In contrast, the public health perspective clearly suggests that the physician has an obligation not to prescribe oseltamivir — a position that is tantamount to a prohibition against prescribing it. The public health perspective need not always trump the individual perspective, but since both point in the same direction in this instance, the prohibition should prevail." [tm]

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