Internet e-recipe for 5 minutes. How does it work and is it legal?

An online e-recipe is a popular solution, especially during a pandemic.


Patients are increasingly turning to so-called e-prescriptions, virtual clinics that allow you to apply for almost any preparation – just fill out the form and pay. The deputies were interested in the issue. – This leads to a situation where a prescription for any drug (including narcotics) can be given by any doctor, including a dentist, and some doctors were able to write thousands of prescriptions without seeing patients – we read in the interpellation.

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There are more and more sites on the Internet that offer remote prescription writing and even sick leave. All “visits” consist of filling out a health questionnaire, choosing the type of medication or sick leave, and funding the service. The so-called remote clinics are staffed by doctors who write e-prescriptions or e-sheets and then label them with numbers for practice.

– The problem is that we are talking not only about drugs for infections and even hypertension, but also antidepressants. I understand that most patients simply want to extend their prescriptions without leaving home, but in the case of sleeping pills or receptor antagonists, it is important that they be prescribed by a specialist who knows the patient and actually knows how to administer therapy. I have the impression that such an online order can do more harm, says one family doctor in Gdansk.
In this type of process, it is usually enough to identify your symptoms or indicate the medication you want to take in the future. However, keep in mind that in the end it is still the doctor who signs the electronic document.

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An electronic recipe in 5 minutes?

– I was surprised that I got the prescription of the drug of my choice without any problems, maybe it took five minutes. You fill out the application, register, pay and have a prescription. Of course, I understand that, as when filling out a questionnaire, not every patient knows that he needs this medicine, but he does not have to be honest when talking to the doctor. It has nothing to do with a doctor’s advice, it’s a much bigger pharmacy, where you just have to pay extra to buy something with a prescription, he says. Anetaa reader using a virtual clinic.
– I used my medication because I took it regularly, and when I saw that the last package was over, it turned out that my doctor was on vacation and would see me only a month later. A break at the reception will probably make my life a little harder. It passed quickly and without any problems, I was a little surprised. I must admit that since the pandemic, when I go to the doctor and ask for a prescription, I hear that there is no need to come, because I will get a prescription code, and that’s it, – he says. Magda.
One of the family doctors we talked to about the “5-minute e-prescription” emphasizes that such a solution may seem attractive to patients because the doctor-patient relationship is still difficult, and here we avoid meetings and sometimes difficult conversations.

– We still have a lot of work to do to establish a relationship between the patient and the doctor. Doctors understand that sometimes it is difficult to make an appointment, you have to wait in line. On the other hand, patients who come to us are not always honest, they are simply ashamed and can hide something that is important in the context of treatment. However, avoiding yourself is not the solution, he notes.

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After the introduction of electronic recipes, websites offering recipes began to appear on the Internet.

After the introduction of electronic recipes, websites offering recipes began to appear on the Internet.


An ethical recipe on the internet? How can this be verified?

Seeing that there are gaps in the inspection of institutions, we asked the Supreme Medical Chamber to comment on the activities of such “electronic clinics” that prepare special instructions. All indications are that there is no way to monitor this practice more closely, and that most activities result in the investigation of specific, reported cases.

– Medical self-government does not have the authority to monitor and control the activities of medical institutions. At present, many medical institutions also operate on the basis of telemedicine provisions included in the legislation of the Ministry of Health. Telemedicine is a tool that can be used to help patients, but unfortunately there is a risk of misuse in the absence of appropriate standards, detailed rules, clear communication. Professional authorities may and may respond to information in specific situations, such as when a doctor issues prescriptions that contradict applicable regulations, about the possibility of a violation of the law by specific doctors. Rafał Hołubicki, Spokesman for the Supreme Lakers Chamber. And adds: – After the introduction of the universality of telemedicine services, there were many doubts about the ethical aspects of their application, legal security and technical capabilities of service providers and patients.
What is important and seems to be the basis of this system, the pharmacist can not check the prescription. There is no difference between the document issued during the visit and during the consultation.

– According to the current legislation, a doctor or dentist can issue an electronic prescription necessary to continue treatment without examining the patient. Prescriptions issued in the electronic cabinet system require prior approval with the electronic signature of the authorized person. If there are no formal errors in the prescription, it is carried out under the same conditions as in the case of a patient’s inpatient visit to the doctor at the pharmacy, he said. Katarzyna GancarzActing spokesman for the Supreme Chamber of Pharmacy.
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Electronic prescription checks. “Medicine was able to write thousands of prescriptions”

MP Krzysztof Gavkowski, who recently submitted a reference to the Ministry of Health, was also interested in this topic. The MP notes that doctors are probably prescribing non-specialty diseases, including drugs.

– Internet machines, so-called virtual prescriptions for any drug. Their demonstration was made possible by the introduction of digital recipes in Poland. The description of the pages shows that they are managed by medical institutions and the prescriptions themselves are issued by a licensed doctor, regardless of the specialty. This leads to the fact that any doctor (including narcotics) can prescribe any drug, including a dentist, and some medical workers were able to write thousands of prescriptions without seeing patients – the deputy wrote in an interpellation.
In response, the Ministry of Health stated that it carried out control measures in accordance with the requirements, and that the medical self-government body supervised issues related to professional ethics.

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– The Ministry of Health, taking into account the nature of the medical profession, especially its inclusion as a profession of public trust, believes that the activities of doctors are in accordance with applicable law, including the issuance of electronic prescriptions. . However, it should be noted that in each case of a complaint to the Ministry of Health regarding possible malfunctions or potential abuse of the health system, the Ministry of Health takes action in accordance with its powers. It should be noted that other bodies also have the right to take appropriate measures to ensure the legality of the professional activities of doctors, he wrote. Maciej MiłkowskiAdviser to the Secretary of State at the Ministry of Health.
It should be noted that such instant processing of prescriptions was possible due to the digitalization of medical services and the introduction of electronic prescription system a few years ago. As you can see, favorable changes can also be dangerous.

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