As an early Christmas gift, the ministry of health has given us a new decree on the prescription of drugs, set to come into force as of 1 January.
Even in these hectic days, marked by Christmas shopping and the common cold, the health ministry managed to stayed on course and has now issued its latest decree No. 329/2019 Coll., on the prescription of medicinal products, replacing and superseding decree No. 457/2017 Coll. and part two of decree No. 57/2008 Coll., on the manner in which to prescribe medicinal products. The decree was passed in connection with a host of changes affecting the way in which drugs are being prescribed, and in connection with the introduction of the so-called shared prescription history (both triggered by a recent amendment to the Drugs Act).
Important changes to the prescription of drugs
Effective as of 1 January 2020, only one type of medicinal product may be prescribed in each e-prescription. This means that patients will receive multiple prescriptions more often. As for paper-form prescriptions, two types of medicinal products may still be prescribed at once until the end of May 2020, before the rules will be the same in both cases. Another important change is that it will no longer be possible to issue recurring prescriptions in paper form, effective as of the first day of the new year.
Managing the declarations of consent needed for the shared prescription history
As we’ve mentioned above, the decree also responds to the introduction of the shared prescription history – a service which allows medical doctors and pharmacists to access what medicinal products were prescribed to the given patient in the past.
More specifically, patients have the option to withhold their consent with the access of medical doctors or pharmacists to their data contained in the shared prescription history, on an opt-out basis. This denial of consent may be expressed using a web-based application, or by sending an electronic message via databox (or formally delivering an official notice) to the State Institute for Drug Control.
Patients will newly have the option to ask for “certified output from the eRecept system” – that is to say, in practical terms, an extract of their shared prescription history, and thus comprehensive information on all electronic prescriptions which were issued to the given patient during a chosen time period. The extract will show data on the prescribed medicinal product, the medical doctor who prescribed it, the healthcare facility visited by the patient, and whether the prescription was collected or cancelled. Section 11 of the decree, which governs this “certified output”, will only become effective as of 1 April 2020, presumably because of the challenged posed by the technical implementation.
Decree No. 329/2019 Coll. of the health ministry on the prescription of medicinal products in connection with the provision of healthcare