DDB allows use of electronic prescription for dangerous drugs

MANILA – The Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) has given its green light for the use of electronic prescription for dangerous drugs for six months or during the declaration of the nationwide state of calamity.

The DDB, in its advisory dated March 18, said a patient or his authorized representative may present an electronic prescription for dangerous drugs to a drugstore or pharmacy for proper dispensing of the required medication.

It said the electronic prescription could be a photo of the “special prescription form for dangerous drugs or ordinary prescription form stored in a cellular phone or any electronic gadget.”

The electronic prescription should contain the prescribing physician’s full name, business address, contact details, S-2 license number, and original signature; the patient’s complete name and address; and date of the prescription.

The generic and brand name of the medicine containing dangerous drugs to be supplied, the dosage strength and form, the total number of dosage units or quantity needed in words and its numerical equivalent, and the direction of use should also be included in the electronic prescription.

“There shall be an inscription of ‘no refill’ in the electronic prescription,” the DDB said.

Section 40(b) of Republic Act (RA) 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 states that no prescription once served by the drugstore or pharmacy should be reused nor any prescription once issued be refilled.

The prescribing physician may issue a supplemental prescription within the 30-day period reckoned from the date when the original prescription was made if the condition of the patient requires more dose medication than originally assessed.

The DDB directed the prescribing physician to keep records of all electronic prescriptions issued and report the same to the Compliance Service of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency within seven days after the lifting of the State of Calamity throughout the Philippines.

“The same rule applies to licensed drugstores or pharmacies dispensing medicines containing dangerous drugs as prescribed by the electronic prescription. As such, drugstores or pharmacies shall secure copies of the electronic prescriptions, or photos thereof, which shall serve as supporting records to their report,” it said.

A person duly authorized by the patient may purchase the medicines on behalf of the latter, as long as a written or electronic authorization, the identification card of the authorized individual, and the electronic prescription are presented to authorized personnel of the drugstore or pharmacy.

The advisory was signed by Undersecretary Earl Saavedra, executive director of DDB, by the authority of DDB chairperson Catalino Cuy.

Under RA 9165, all prescriptions issued by physicians, dentists, veterinarians, or practitioners should be written in forms exclusively issued by and obtainable from the Department of Health.

However, an electronic prescription is allowed when the country is under a state of calamity.

The DDB’s order was effective for six months, “unless earlier lifted or extended as circumstances may warrant.”

President Rodrigo Duterte on March 16 placed the Philippines under a state of calamity due to coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.  Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos /PNA – northboundasia.com