What do you now have to bring to the pharmacy to buy the drugs?

No need to ask the doctor for a prescription via WhatsApp, something totally common among chronic patients but also in general, to buy remedies. A photo of a medical prescription can no longer be presented.

In order not to go to a doctor’s office all the time or start a video consultation just for that, the mechanism was very simple in times of pandemic: the doctor wrote the phrase “covid 19 emergency” in the prescription, which validated everything, took a picture and messaged it. The patient presented it to the pharmacy, printed it or sent it from the mobile phone.

It doesn’t work anymore.

The Ministry of Health of the Nation, through resolution 3622/2022 published this Monday in the Official Gazette, has established that photos of paper medical prescriptions sent by mail or WhatsApp are no longer valid. And there are doubts.

Also, an open point lends itself to confusion and improvisation on Tuesday: Aren’t photos of medical prescriptions useful for imaging studies or even blood tests?

What’s the point from now on?

What has been repealed is Resolution 696 issued in 2020, which, exceptionally due to the quarantine, authorized the prescription of drugs by messages or by mail.

Digital and/or electronic prescriptions (with electronic or digital signature) will continue to be accepted as beforeRegulated by Law 27,553, approved in August 2020 by the National Congress and still unregulated, they are the only ones valid apart from those in handwriting.

Why are they no longer accepted by photo or capture?

Like they said Bugle from the Nation’s Ministry of Health, “the epidemiological and health situation is very different from when the repealed resolution was published”.

During the ASPO, the exceptional acceptance of photos of physical receipts was taken with the aim of prevent people who need medication from circulating, to reduce the transmission of the virus and the risk of contagion. After the emergency, they compose, “It is convenient to return to the previous mechanisms.”

Because? “They ensure greater safety as they are less likely to be counterfeited and encourage responsible use of medicines, as agreed with health ministers across the country at the Federal Health Council on October 4,” said detailed the health authorities to this newspaper. .

What are these security mechanisms?

When a doctor signs the prescription digitally, register the signature and has jurisdiction to issue an order and an order.

The previous exceptional methodology simplified everything but, according to them, “violated the law on pharmacy and the law on professional practice, among other aspects”.

The recipes must ensure the identity of patients and doctors and the drug prescribed must be authorized by ANMAT, be identified by its generic name and be part of a scientifically validated therapeutic indication, within the framework of the rational use of drugs.

“The exception mechanisms that are repealed with this resolution (the recipe in the photo) have not given the necessary guarantees to respect these precepts”, they say.

The authorities say that only digital or electronic prescriptions respect the safety mechanisms. Photo Andrés D’Elia

What to bring to the pharmacy?

What can no longer be done is to present or send the pharmacy a photo of the prescription on paper, a prescription by mail or a prescription by WhatsApp.

As before the pandemic, Accepted digital and/or electronic prescriptions are those that have an electronic or digital signatureas established by the Digital Prescription Law, which is in the implementation phase, and the Electronic Signature Law.

Pharmacies carry out the corresponding checks for dispensing, generate the records required by law and also respect the traceability of the drugs dispensed.

Until the adaptation to the new system occurs, everything is going to be more complicated for those who do not have a doctor on hand who has the certified signature. Whoever has a recipe sent by photo today will not be able to purchase the prescribed remedy.

It is expected that from the regulation of this law, the providers who have this service will be expanded and, therefore, the accessibility of patients to medicines will be simplified.

PAMI is not covered by the new provision because it has a system that approves these recipes through the pharmacy, it is called FARMAPAMI.

Thus, PAMI affiliates will not experience changes in the modality of digital receipts

PAMI's digital recipe.

PAMI’s digital recipe.

What is an electronic prescription?

National Law 27,553, assented to in August 2020, indicates that the prescription of drugs can be carried out in electronic or digital prescriptions and they can be signed with handwritten, electronic or digital signatures.

The regulations apply to medical prescriptions, dental prescriptions or other professionals authorized to prescribe them in the fields of health and pharmaceutical care.

According to the e-prescription law, any pharmacy or pharmacy department in healthcare facilities must supply prescribed drugs in this way without objection. These are not photos of recipes or shots. These are electronic prescriptions.

The law has already been passed two years and four months after being promulgated, but it has not yet been regulated. It remains to define how its instrumentation will be. Systems must be adapted to use digital prescriptions and telehealth platforms.

Prescriptions must contain the following information: surname, first name, profession, registration number, address, telephone number and e-mail if applicable.

What about photos of medical prescriptions for a study?

This point is not specified in the text of the Official Journal, which only speaks of the repeal of “photos” to buy prescription drugs. Faced with this question, Health responds “it’s for everything”although they warn that details will arrive in the coming hours.

As neither Osde nor Swiss Medical, for example, have communicated to the clinics whether the medical prescriptions sent by Whatsapp or by e-mail to carry out studies or consult specialists in external offices are still valid, the main clinics in the capital -such as Los Arcos, the Trinity of Palermo and the Alexander Fleming Institute, with whom he spoke Bugle-, this Tuesday they accepted the recipes in the format already repealed.

But doctors already have an injunction to “revert to wet signature” (paper) or to only make electronic prescriptions.


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