December 18, 2012 | By Márcio Barra
In an odd turn, the Portuguese Government published in December 10th the Dispatch nº 15700/2012, which approves the new model of medical prescription. In this model, the patient is obliged to declare, in a field in the front of the medical prescription, if they will or will not exert the right of choice regarding his medication.
This new model, which is being heavily criticized by the Portuguese “Ordem dos Farmacêuticos” (Link), is an update to a version published in October this year, where that field wasn’t available, and which was approved by the secretary of health state as the final version. The Ordem dos farmacêuticos pointed that incoherence in their press release, and said that the existence of such a field violates Law nº. 11/2012, from March 8th, and regulated by Ordinance n.º 137-A/2012, from May 11th, which states that a drug must be prescribed according to active substance (DCI), and not by brand. The existence of such a field is said to “bind the patient to an decision made earlier in a medical appointment, when in the act of buying a drug, besides having the power to create absolutely contradictory situations”
The National Pharmaceutical Association, in light of these events, prompted pharmacies to disobey a physician’s prescriptions, arguing that the right of option between a branded drug and a generic must be made by the patient when buying a drug.