These important changes to prescriptions were just about to come into force. However, the Ministry of Health announced a new date

These important changes to prescriptions were just about to come into force.  However, the Ministry of Health announced a new date

Changes in prescriptions, providing for the possibility of using only the new drug dosage regimen, were about to come into force. However, the Ministry of Health announced a new date and explained the reason for the delay.

On May 8, 2024, important changes related to issuing prescriptions were to come into force. They concerned the end of the transitional period during which doctors can issue annual prescriptions in two dosage regimens. One option is the current method, while the second method involves using the P1 IT system, which calculates the amount of prescribed medicine that should be dispensed to the patient in the pharmacy. However, there will be no revolution in this matter, at least for the foreseeable future.

Changes to prescriptions will take effect with a delay

Initially, the introduction of a new prescription dosage schedule, calculated by the system, was to come into force on April 1, 2024. However, the Ministry of Health postponed this date to May 8. Now the same situation happened. The Ministry of Health, despite its previous announcements, decided to extend this transitional period until June 30, 2024. As a result, for the next almost two months, doctors will be able to issue prescriptions to patients according to two schemes – a new one, but also an old one. After this date, prescriptions issued according to the old method will be blocked.

From July 1, 2024, office software should be adapted – by their suppliers – to new requirements, and medical staff using these types of software should be prepared to adapt to these requirements – reads an excerpt from the announcement of the Ministry of Health.

The reason why the transitional period for introducing only the new dosage regimen has been extended until the end of June is that the regulation amending the regulation on prescriptions was submitted for public consultation on May 6, 2024. The project takes into account the changes expected by pharmacists and doctors. These include, but are not limited to, the possibility for a pharmacist to increase the number of drug packages dispensed in various cases where the dosage is recorded in the prescription. It also concerns changes in the event of discrepancies between the amount resulting from the dosage and the indicated number of packages, as well as clarification of the rules for annotations made on the prescription by the person authorized to issue prescriptions. As indicated by the Ministry of Health, “the provisions contained in the draft regulation will require changing the algorithms and thus changing the IT system operating within the so-called “P1 system”.

Appeal by doctors and pharmacists regarding the new annual prescription scheme

Doctors have already appealed to the Minister of Health to delay the introduction of changes, arguing, among other things, that new drug dosage templates may result in mistakes, but also cause confusion among patients.

For example, a patient who previously administered 18 units of insulin will have to administer 0.2 ml of the substance, another person will have to administer 0.04 ml instead of two drops of antiglaucoma eye medications, which will cause errors in dose conversion and application. – reads a fragment of the letter sent by the Agreement of Health Care Employers to the Minister of Health.

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