NUR-SULTAN – The Ministry of Healthcare announced Oct. 8 it will introduce a paperless system for issuing prescriptions beginning in January, reported Kazinform.
The ministry’s Committee for Quality Control and Safety of Goods and Services noted 35 percent of all prescriptions are currently issued electronically. The Atyrau, East Kazakhstan and Karaganda regions have transferred to an electronic format using a special information system.
Electronic prescriptions will ideally eliminate distributing medicines without prescriptions, according to the committee, a problem which can affect and endanger people’s lives. The law that prohibits selling drugs without required prescriptions has existed for 16 years, yet patients can buy them in almost any drug store.
Prescriptions are legal documents that verify doctors’ decisions and medical personnel validate paper prescriptions with their signature and personal seal. Electronic prescriptions will be validated using a digital signature.
In addition, doctors can issue prescriptions in Kazakh, Latin or Russian using the medicines’ international non-proprietary names. Should a patient have an intolerance for a certain combination of drug compounds, the doctor prescribes the medicine under the name indicated on the package and by which it is registered, known as a trade name.
The ministry also simplified the procedure for prescribing and receiving subsidised drugs. Doctors will prescribe such drugs every three months for patients with chronic diseases and once a month for those with severe illnesses requiring expensive drugs. The prescriptions will be valid for the duration of the period.
Pharmacies will install information systems that will allow them to keep track of prescriptions. Patients will be able to receive their drugs after showing their national identity card and the pharmacist will be able to see the prescription in the system. The system will keep track of the drugs sold, the amount and time period. The electronic system will also track whether patients received their medicine. The period for keeping paper-based prescriptions will be reduced from three years to one.
As of August, 7,770 drug names are registered in Kazakhstan, of which 6,016 (77 percent) are sold with prescriptions.