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Doctors, pharmacists against electronic prescriptions

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Prague, Sept 5 (CTK) – The Czech Doctors’ Chamber (CLK) and the Czech Pharmacists’ Chamber oppose the introduction of electronic prescriptions as of next year because the system has not been prepared well, their representatives told journalists on Tuesday.

They recommended that pharmacies and doctors be able to join the new system on a voluntary basis in 2018 and that its details be gradually dealt with.

“We suggest that the law on medicines be quickly amended to make the system voluntary,” CLK head Milan Kubek said.

Kubek said this amendment would have to be passed by the Chamber of Deputies in its new lineup after the October general election.

Under the present legislation, a fine of up to two million crowns may be imposed on doctors who refuse to issue electronic prescriptions next year.

Petr Sonka, head of the Association of general practitioners, said older GPs and those working in the countryside are likely to have the biggest problem with the electronic prescriptions.

About a hundred of doctors are considering closing their offices due to the electronic prescriptions.

Doctors will have to have high-speed Internet and high quality printers in their offices, Sonka said.

Czech Pharmacists’ Chamber head Lubomir Chudoba said the administrative burden pharmacies would have to deal with would markedly increase due to the electronic prescriptions.

“The system has not been tested enough,” Chudoba said.

About 7 percent of all prescriptions in the country is electronic, he said.

In the Czech Republic, 60 to 70 million classical prescriptions are issued a year.

The most common form of an electronic prescription is to be a paper dispatch note with a code. An SMS sent to a mobile phone, an e-mail with a coded file in pdf format or the image of the prescription in a web or mobile application are other options.

Electronic prescriptions were introduced in the Czech Republic in 2007.

The State Institute for Drug Control (SUKL) introduced the system and supported and developed it for four years. This has cost 14 million crowns. The operation costs are 100,000 crowns a month.

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