From today, your doctor is no longer required to issue you a paper prescription

September 15, 2021 by archyde

From this Wednesday, doctors can issue a prescription for drugs without any written record. Thanks to electronic identification, the national registry number or proof of prescription on a smartphone, pharmacists will know exactly which medicine to prescribe.

Those who wish can also get a paper receipt. Pharmacies were already accepting dematerialized prescriptions since June 1. This technique is now deployed on a large scale. The software intended for prescribers (doctors, dentists and midwives) had to be ready by September 15 at the latest.

Since January 1, 2020, doctors are required to prescribe drugs electronically. Until now, the patient has always received a paper receipt with a unique barcode, but those who wish can now have their medication prescribed completely digitally.

Benefits for the patient and the practitioner

On presentation of an electronic identity card or a national register number, pharmacists can retrieve the prescription via software. People with a smartphone can also present an electronic receipt. “The patient will be able to choose the way in which he receives a prescription”, says pharmacist Katrien Thorré, of Receip-e, a multidisciplinary team that has made electronic prescribing possible in Belgium.

This dematerialization has advantages for both the patient and the healthcare provider. Patients will thus benefit from additional possibilities to recover prescribed drugs and, in exceptional situations, will not have to go to the general practitioner.

For their part, doctors will also be able to monitor the status of their prescriptions digitally, which will avoid wasting prescriptions. Finally, having a complete and detailed overview of the prescribed drug, pharmacists will be able to adapt their advice. By the end of the year, it will also be possible to give a digital power of attorney so that the patient no longer has to go to the pharmacy in person.

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Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my