Citizens Issued Five Million Prescriptions in 9 Months

By , 17 Jul 2018, 12:57 PM Lifestyle
The state pharmacies got 18 out of 24 million euros for the medicine on prescriptions The state pharmacies got 18 out of 24 million euros for the medicine on prescriptions Luka Zekovic

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July 17, 2018 - During the nine months it has been validated to receive medicine with prescriptions, even at private pharmacies, the state invoiced about 24.5 million euros for the treatment of citizens. 

The Pharmaceutical company “Montefarm” has invoiced 18 million to the Fund of health insurance for medicines received in state apothecaries, while 167 private pharmacies shared about 6.5 million. The project "With a prescription, even at private pharmacies" began on October 2nd last year, and by July 1st, 24.5 million was allocated for prescription drugs and ancillary services.

In the same period in 2016/2017, for state pharmacies, which back then were the only ones to issue prescription drugs, the Fund invoiced around 22.72 million euros. The Director of the Fund Sead Čirgić said that they had somewhat higher costs compared to the earlier comparative period for prescription drugs, but according to the data from the Agency for medicines and medical devices, the citizen's expenditure on medicines was reduced.

"The share that goes to the Fund's expenditure resources is increasing, which is in favor of greater availability of the drugs," says Čirgić. The Director of the Fund said that by including private pharmacies, standardized pharmaceutical services, the availability of medicines to insured persons is increasing, avoiding long mandatory legal drug procurement procedures that have created shortages in the previous period. He explained that there are unique prices of medicines received with a recipe both in the private and state pharmacies.

During the last nine months, 3,834,422 pharmacy prescriptions have been used in all pharmacies, of which about 2.2 million are in the state.. In the same period, citizens received 5,152,878 prescriptions.

The project "With a prescription, even at the private pharmacies" continued in October last year, after a two-year break. It was first implemented in 2015 and by a decision of the Fund’s Board of Directors, it was terminated after seven months. The contracts with private pharmacies were terminated due to the reached limit - they already received the estimated amount for 2015.

New contracts with the private pharmacies, signed in October last year, will expire by March 2019. This year, the Fund allocated 18,3 million euros for medicines on prescriptions to "Montefarm" and to private pharmacies. 4.8 million euros. Although, according to the authorities, the availability of drugs is better, and the shortage is less, the Fund has recently adopted a rulebook on basis of which the citizens will get a refund for the drug from the list of drugs that they need to buy because it was not available in the pharmacies. To do this it will be required to have a request by the insurer, bill and other documentation arranged by the new rulebook. 

Private pharmacies must have every drug from the list, the irresponsible ones will be punished 

Citizens periodically continue to complain that in some private pharmacies they are told that the drug from the list cannot be received with a prescription, but they can buy it because they do not have it in stock. Čirgić said that the medicine list, both basic and sur-charged, is valid for all the state and private pharmacies that have a contract with the Fund.

"Private pharmacies have signed a contract with the Fund, which is committed to providing the entire range of medicines defined by the contract. If there should be a proof that a pharmacy, on the duly prescribed recipe does not fulfill the contractual obligations, the company will be penalized in accordance with the contract," he said. 

Electronic receipts reduced costs 

Four months after the introduction of the electronic recipes and the abolition of the printed ones, the Fund claimed that no serious technical problem was noted."We have more effective recipe delivery and we have no objections from the insurers, doctors and pharmacists," said Čirgić. He argues that now they have less costs because "there is no prescription printing nor indirect costs associated with printing them, for example, less printer and toner usage, storage costs, prescriptions storage and more."

Text by Ana Komatina, on July 16th 2018 read more at Vijesti

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