February 2, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Medicines: what is changing in electronic prescription

The Ministry of Health is currently developing a plan to introduce only electronic prescription for all prescription drugs.

According to Health Minister Thanos Plevris, the Ministry of Health is working to ensure that all prescription drugs are dispensed by electronic counterparts. “We announced that prescription drugs that are in short supply will be dispensed only by electronic prescription. The next step is to introduce an electronic prescription for all drugs in this category,” the Minister of Health said, noting that the plan will be implemented after the necessary changes are made to the system. ΗΔΙΚΑ.

Pressure from medical associations
This decision was made after the country’s medical associations demanded that a doctor’s prescription be made mandatory for all prescription drugs, as it currently happens that some drugs, despite their belonging to the prescription category, are purchased at a pharmacy without prescription due to low cost. doctor’s prescription. The electronic prescribing of all prescription drugs is designed to give decision makers a better understanding of the availability of drugs on the market and reduce drug overuse.

It should be noted that prescription-only dispensing of medicines is a long-standing requirement of the medical community, on which many appeals have been made to the competent ministers in recent years. A start was made in February 2020 with a mandatory prescription for antibiotics, which was implemented in September of that year. However, the medical community insists that no drugs and vaccines should be given without a prescription, as the judgment of the attending physician should come first. The pressure on the Ministry of Health has intensified recently after the decision to issue electronic prescriptions for scarce medicines.

Exadactylos: Prescription drugs should already be mandatory
“Prescribing prescription drugs is a standard practice in all medical and pharmaceutical schools around the world. We are the only European country that does not follow this directive,” said Athanasios Exadactylos, president of the Pangellen Medical Association. The President of ΠΙΣ stated that the specific proposal should have been adopted before there was a shortage of medicines in the Greek market, in order to ensure savings and rational use of medicines. “In no European country can a citizen go to a pharmacy and buy any medicine he wants, with the exception of antibiotics and drugs, without a prescription“, – said Exadactylos, adding that the attending physician in all cases should give recommendations on the dosage and timing of medication.

ΙΣΑ, which held an emergency meeting yesterday over the outbreak of respiratory infections, also advocates mandatory prescription of medication. “Yesterday, we again raised the issue of prescribing drugs to rationalize their use,” ΙΣΑ Vice President Politimi told Leonardo, stressing that the Minister of Health had assured ΙΣΑ that their request would be granted in accordance with best scientific practice.

The changes also affected ΜΗΣΥΦΑ
At the same time, the goal of the Ministry of Health is reportedly to revise the list over-the-counter drugs, as some drugs shouldn’t be in it. However, this list is expected to be updated in a year, as it will need to be processed by different control mechanisms.

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