Law bans sale of antibiotics without prescription

Law bans sale of antibiotics without prescription

Antibiotics will only be available to patients with a prescription as of Thursday, according to a new provision by the Ministry of Health passed in February.

From now on, the prescription will be electronic and will state the specific illness for which it is necessary to administer the drug as well as the dosage.

In exceptional cases when it is not possible to issue an electronic prescription, the handwritten prescription must contain all the details of the electronic one and name the illness.

The Panhellenic Medical Association (PIS) described the law as “a win” of the medical world which took about 50 years to implement.

PIS said the law requiring a doctor's prescription for the sale of drugs has existed since 1973, but it was often ignored.

Greece is in first place in Europe in the consumption of antibiotics in Primary Health Care and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has said greeks consume double the amount of antibiotics compared to the EU average.

Last April, Health Minister Vasilis Kikilias introduced a provision which introduced the measure and allowed for an adjustment period of three months, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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