With Sanofi now tasked with negotiating approval of Tamiflu to be sold over-the-counter, and with the 2019–2020 influenza season off to an early start, urgent care providers need to put on their health educator hats to both ensure patient safety and protect profitability during one of the busiest times of the year. It’s likely patients will think they have fewer worries than ever about the flu, but nothing could be further from the truth. First off, flu shots are as important as ever. So is testing; flu-like symptoms do not always indicate influenza—in fact, they could be indicitave of, or lead to, something far worse. So, mis-treatment and resistance continue to be significant threats; a confirmed diagnosis must precede treatment. In short, OTC Tamiflu should only eliminate one step (writing the prescription) in the process of helping patients who have the flu. And it does nothing to negate the need for immunization. Failure to make patients understand these facts will result in plummeting patient visits, too—something you can’t afford to see happen in what is historically one of the busiest (and most profitable) times of the year..
Help Patients Understand OTC Tamiflu Doesn’t Negate the Need for Urgent Care Flu Visits