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Over 100,000 electronic prescriptions issued by midday

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Prague, Jan 2 (CTK) – Over 100,000 electronic prescriptions for medicines were issued, of which one half were already administered by pharmacies, Czech Health Minister Adam Vojtech (ANO) and deputy director of the Institute for Drug Control (SUKL) Irena Storova said at a press conference on Tuesday.

According to SUKL, the system works well without any major problems.

The only defect at present is that sending off prescriptions is not possible through SMS, Vojtech said.

As of January 1, all prescriptions must be registered in a central storage facility. The authorities will, however, not be issuing fines for not using e-prescriptions during the first year of their existence.

“I believe that the electronic prescription as such is the right path,” Vojtech said.

According to Vojtech, it eliminates false prescriptions, of which there are up to 450,000 a year.

Physicians can issue the prescriptions also at distance, as sending them by email works and sending them by SMS will be made possible within a few days, Vojtech said.

As of January 1, 2019, the list of any prescriptions or a single patient by all physicians, which can currently be viewed by the patient only, should be made accessible to the other doctors as well.

An amendment to law regarding personal data protection will likely be required and a consent of the patient could be needed in order to do this, Vojtech told CTK.

The system could also monitor unwanted interactions of the medicines, due to which several hundreds of people are estimated to die annually.

The Health Ministry also intends to launch an information campaign on the electronic prescriptions focused on physicians of senior age and those in the countryside.

SUKL organised several seminars last year and information was provided at professional conferences intended for physicians and pharmacists.

According to Storova, about 102,000 electronic prescriptions were issued by 12:30 on Tuesday and over 50,000 were issued in a pharmacy.

“We also registered unsuccessful attempts, but these are on a marginal scale,” she added.

The physicians have criticised the system as involving a lengthy procedure for obtaining the access data.

SUKL administered 37,199 access data applications by the end of 2017 and another 7,000 await confirmation by the Czech Medical Chamber.

“We cannot influence how long it takes to verify an application,” Storova said.

According to Vojtech, SUKL could use the planned National Register of Healthcare Workers, which is to be launched this year, to verify the applications.

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