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A physician’s prescription

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Prescription is a written order of a physician addressed to a pharmacist. It concerns medicines which can be used in the pharmacotherapy of a patient. Issued by a health insurance physician, a physician who concluded a contract with the National Health Fund or a physician who concluded a contract with the National Health Fund which empower him/her to issue prescriptions for himself/herself, for his/her next of kin is a basis to purchase a reimbursed medicine, foods for special medical purposes, a medical device, a medical device’s equipment, an in vitro diagnostic medical device, an in vitro diagnostic medical device’ s equipment. A prescription for reimbursed products can be filled in pharmacies or pharmacy outlets that concluded a contract with the National Health Fund (such pharmacies place a board informing of concluding a contract with the National Health Fund in a visible site).

A prescription cannot be dispensed later than within 30 days of date of its issue or within 30 days of the indicated date of dispensing if such date has been indicated on the prescription.

Exceptions to the above principle are prescriptions issued for:

  • antibiotics in a form of formulations for internal and parenteral (enteral) administration – 7 days of the date of the prescription’s issue,
  • immunological formulations produced for an individual patient – 90 days of the date of the prescription’s issue,
  • medicines, foods for special medical purposes imported individually for a patient from abroad – 120 days of the date of issue.

Remember that if the prescription concerns more than one medicine, the prescription’ time limit is counted individually for each of them.

It is good to know:

  • one prescription may be issued for up to five different products (ready-prepared medicines, foodstuffs, medical devices) or a double amount of a magistral medicine;
  • one prescription can be used to prescribe only one medicinal product containing narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances;
    • an authorized person can issue up to twelve prescriptions for successive periods of use which don’t exceed 360 days in total (provided that one prescription may not include a medicinal product, foodstuff, medical device for a period exceeding 120 days) and in the case of prescriptions for contraceptives – up to six prescriptions for successive periods of use which don’t exceed 6 months in total; In case of a prescription for a compounded medicinal product in a form of a salve, cream, liniment, paste or gel for application to the skin, a tenfold amount of the compounded medicinal product may be prescribed. No more than 16 such prescriptions may be issued one-time as needed for a patient for no more than 120-day period of application;
      • if a prescription does not include a dosage regime of a refunded pharmaceutical, a patient may receive no more than two smallest containers of the pharmaceutical concerned. If the prescription includes a dosage regime, a patient may receive such an amount of a refunded pharmaceutical at one time, which will not exceed the amount necessary to conduct a 120-day treatment. The amount is to be calculated based on the dosage regime prescribed. Without indicating a dosage regime in the prescription, a one-time prescription issued by a prescribing person to one patient may not exceed an amount of a refunded pharmaceutical, foodstuff intended for particular nutritional uses, medical device, which corresponds to two smallest containers subject to refund;
  • besides the data concerning prescribed products, an authorized person may include on a prescription an instruction of the urgent dispensing through cito annotation or other equivalent;
  • an authorized person may include on a prescription a reservation concerning necessity of dispensing to the patient only the specified medicine, foods for special medical purposes, medical device through the annotation – do not change or NZ next to the item which it concerns.

Prescriptions issued abroad may be dispensed against full payment. Such a prescription has to include the following data:

  • first name or names and surname of the patient;
  • patient’s address;
  • common name (international non-proprietary name) or brand name;
  • form;
  • dose (strength)
  • quantity of the medicine, the foods for special medical purposes, the medical device;
  • date of the prescription’s issuance;
  • data of the person issuing the prescription in a form of a printing or a seal and the signature of the person issuing the prescription.

Ministry of Health

The Ministry of Health is an office of government administration serving the Minister of Health.

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