Doctors abusing prescriptions to be targeted

Health Minister Adonis Georgiadis on Tuesday heralded the extension of state checks on the declaration of assets (“pothen esches”) forms of hospital directors to doctors in a bid to crack down on medics who direct patients to specific pharmacies for prescriptions or who prescribe medicines by their trade names rather than generic drugs.

The aim is to identify doctors who are making a personal profit by favoring specific drug manufacturers or who are sending their patients to pharmacies run by relatives or friends.

According to Georgiadis, the inspections will target doctors who appear to be overprescribing medicines while those found to be consistently promoting particular brand names will be banned from accessing the country’s electronic prescription system.

A file of some of the most blatant cases of alleged malpractice was submitted to Georgiadis by inspectors. It reportedly refers to a general practitioner in Macedonia, northern Greece, who drew up 4,388 prescriptions in just one month – between 150 and 200 prescriptions a day.

Another doctor is said to have directed virtually all his prescriptions (93 percent) to just one pharmacy.

The minister added that authorities would carry out an audit of all Greeks insured with the country’s main healthcare provider, EOPYY, as it is unclear what the total number is.