Doctors Blocked from Prescribing Brand Name Drugs
Changes implemented by the Health Insurance Fund last week mean that, in most cases, doctors using the nation's online prescription system now have to enter a drug's pharmaceutical name rather than a brand name.
"From now on [physicians] cannot arbitrarily prescribe drugs of a certain brand. The changes were made because the regulation on prescriptions requires a medical justification for specifying a particular brand and for forbidding the use of a substitute brand," Health Insurance Fund spokeswoman Evelin Koppel told Postimees.
She said that the fact that doctors were not following this procedure had been causing confusion in pharmacies.
Before the stricter controls on prescribing brand names were introduced, patients may have conceivably come away from a pharmacy empty-handed if the particular brand was unavailable or been compelled to buy only that brand when a cheaper generic substitute was available.