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Greece finally to implement law “Antibiotics only with prescription”

The nightmare for thousands of Greek mamas come true. As of today, antibiotics will be administrated only with a electronic prescription issued by a doctor. After 46 years, the Greek government decided to implement the law of 8. August 1973 that provides that all drugs should be administrated with a doctor’s prescription.

The prescription for antibiotics will be electronic and will state the specific disease for which it is necessary to administer the drug as well as the dosage.

In exceptional cases where it is not possible to issue an electronic prescription, the handwritten prescription must contain all the details of the electronic prescription and especially the disease for which the administration of the specific is deemed necessary.

The implementation comes into effect following pressure of the Panhellenic Medical Association to the leadership of the Health Ministry in 2019, to incorporate European Union directives into Greek legislation.

In February 2020,  at a meeting of the Social Affairs Committee in Parliament, the Minister of Health, Vassilis Kikilias, reportedly pledged to bring a relevant provision that explicitly prohibits the administration of a drug without  prescription.

However, the Law 4675/2020 gives a 3-month “mercy” period for its implementation due to the pandemic.

Greece is first in Europe in the consumption of antibiotics in Primary Health Care. According to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), Greece records a double use of antibiotics in relation to the EU average.

According to an OECD report of 2017, Greece was the biggest consumer of antibiotics. The data was based on prescriptions and, of course, did not include antibiotics over the counter.

The Panhellenic Medical Association invites all those involved in the issue, to strictly apply the law and the Medical Associations to supervise its implementation by the book.

PS This 3-month “mercy” period will give time to panicked Greek mamas to empty the pharmacies shelves. I have been always wondering about the “deep knowledge” of women here on antibiotics. They know each one by commercial name and for which ailment or illness it should be used. Boy! Better than doctors… (:P)  Yet, things got a bit confusing in the last couple of years, since prescriptions started to state the “active substance” and not the brand name, anymore.

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