From April 1, Ukrainians will buy medicines according to new rules: for prescriptions, they will use an electronic prescription. A similar rule already works for antibiotics.
What they say in the Ministry of Health
The Ministry of Health of Ukraine informs that from April 1, 2023, all prescription drugs in Ukraine will be dispensed by electronic prescription. It will apply to all finished medicinal products contained in the State Register and subject to prescription.
As they say in the Ministry of Health, a doctor of any specialty of a state, municipal or private clinic, or an FOP doctor, will be able to write out an e-prescription. For this, the institution does not require an agreement with the National Health Service of Ukraine.
How can I get an e-prescription medicine? The answer to this question is given by the Government Contact Center, referring to the Ministry of Health.
Step 1. The patient makes an appointment and comes to the doctor’s appointment.
Step 2. The doctor conducts an appointment and writes a prescription.
Step 3. When issuing an electronic prescription, the doctor together with the patient must check whether the mobile phone number indicated in the declaration is up-to-date and belongs to the patient. The doctor must name the mobile operator code and the last digits of the number.
Step 4. After verifying the phone number, the doctor writes a prescription in the eHealth system.
Step 5. An SMS is sent to the patient’s mobile phone with a unique prescription number and a confirmation code to receive the medicine at the pharmacy. SMS content: “Your prescription: XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX. Confirmation code: XXXX”.
Step 6. If necessary or at the request of the patient, the doctor can print out a consultation report containing a section with prescriptions, in particular the prescription of a medication. This section contains information about the prescribed medicine and the electronic prescription number.
Step 7. The patient goes to any pharmacy convenient for him and calls the pharmacy worker the prescription number.
Step 9. The patient selects one of the medicines and calls the four-digit confirmation code and receives his medicine. If the necessary drug is not available, the patient can go to another pharmacy and get the medicine there.
“Now this is the third stage in the introduction of an electronic prescription. In this way, we are transforming the entire process of prescribing prescription drugs with the help of modern and effective digital tools that have been successfully implemented in the best world practices. In addition, this will increase control over their dispensing. After all, only a medical specialist on the basis of clinical protocols, it can choose a treatment that will be effective and at the same time safe for the patient, as well as prevent possible negative consequences of self-treatment,” commented Maria Karchevich, Deputy Minister of Health for Digital Transformation, commenting on the innovation.
The Ministry of Health noted that such an e-prescription can be obtained regardless of the presence of a declaration with a family doctor, however, the patient must be registered in the EPHS – the electronic health system. Therefore, by March 31, 2023, medical institutions and FLP doctors must register and start maintaining electronic medical records in the UMSS: electronic medical records, electronic referrals, medical reports, including electronic prescriptions.
What medicines are subject to e-prescription
The government portal published a detailed explanation of the Ministry of Health, which medicines are covered by the innovation. It is known that an electronic prescription will be issued for medicines registered in Ukraine, subject to prescription and which the patient buys at his own expense.
“Note that this list also includes antibiotics, anticonvulsants, hormonal drugs (including contraceptives), drugs for the treatment of blood pressure, heart disease, and others. may also refer to drugs, the sale of which should be carried out exclusively by prescription,” the Ministry of Health notes.
As the head of the pharmaceutical department at the Department of Health of the IF OVA Maryana Timchuk notes, there will be no separate complete list of all drugs that fall under prescription drugs.
“Which medicine will be sold only by prescription will be determined by the Ministry of Health. They will use the classification of pharmacological groups: painkillers, substitution maintenance therapy, deep mental illness, oncological, cardiological, hormonal, etc.,” Tymchuk was quoted as saying by the Pravda edition of your city.
That is why it is important to check the instructions for the medicines you need to buy in advance, and if they are prescription drugs, make sure to get the appropriate prescription from your doctor in April in order to easily and legally purchase prescription drugs from a pharmacy.
To check if a prescription is needed for a particular drug, you need to visit the State Register of Medicines of Ukraine.
“In the case of long-term treatment for chronic diseases or if it is necessary to continue treatment or prophylaxis, a repeated electronic prescription for the necessary medicine can be obtained by contacting your family doctor remotely. To do this, the system must first record the first prescription from your doctor. medicines will always be available on your smartphone,” the Ministry of Health notes.
In the event that a person does not have a mobile phone, the doctor will print a special information leaflet with details of the appointment, number and code to redeem the prescription at the pharmacy.
“Today, an electronic prescription is one of the most common electronic medical tools in Ukraine. Currently, the electronic healthcare system contains about 550,000 prescriptions for antibiotics and more than 11,000 prescriptions for narcotic (psychotropic) drugs,” they explain in the ministry.
How will the reform work in practice?
Irina Lishtaba, expert on pharmaceutical issues, head of the business analysis group of the e-prescription project of the State Enterprise E-health, as part of the webinar of the Ministry of Health, explained that a transitional period begins in April 2022, during which the patient will make an independent decision which prescription he needs: electronic or paper . The expert also explained that in conditions of war, power outages, a medical institution can also issue prescriptions on Form No. 1 or Form No. 3 (depending on the group of drugs). The transitional period will be valid for the period of martial law.
“A paper prescription will also be valid – a doctor can write it out if, for example, there is no electricity in a medical facility. Although preference will always be given to an electronic prescription. So the doctor will be able to see the patient’s diagnosis in the electronic system and what drugs were previously prescribed. And based on This will prescribe treatment. Also, a paper prescription will be issued if the medical institution is not connected to the electronic system. But now almost all institutions have joined it,” explains Maryana Timchuk.
In turn, Irina Lishtaba explained whether it would be possible to replace the prescription drug with an analogue or change the dosage.
“You can release. The majority of drugs will be prescribed according to INN (international nonproprietary name – ed.) for active substances, and 98-99% can be released. Some drugs will be prescribed by brand, these are, in particular, immunobiological drugs, this includes a large group of drugs, not only insulin, it also includes vaccines in particular, they will be prescribed by brand.Also, some drugs can be prescribed by brand, these are those that do not have INNs, actually active substances, they will also be branded. , where it is written out by brand, the analogue cannot be released,” says Irina Lishtaba.
In a different dosage, the expert explains, the medicine cannot be dispensed either.
As for the stay in the hospital and issuing a prescription, Irina Lishtaba notes that within the framework of medical guarantees, the institution must supply the patient with drugs. And in such conditions, a prescription is not needed.
“If a patient needs to go to a pharmacy to get a medicine, then the doctor must write a prescription. The technical ability of a hospital doctor to write an electronic prescription will be, the organizational ability to provide a hospital doctor with forms for issuing paper prescriptions lies on the shoulders of the head of the institution,” Lishtaba notes.
As for the remote writing of a prescription, then, as noted by the acting. Alexander Gritsenko, Head of the Pharmaceutical Department of the Ministry of Health, it is possible if the patient has a chronic disease and needs to buy drugs on a monthly basis.
Also, the media write that the patient can not buy all the medicines that are in the prescription, that is, partially pay off it. As well as buying not a package, but only a blister or an ampoule. When you need to buy the drug, you do not have to re-receive the prescription.
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