Czechia's eRecept app shows you which medicines are available in pharmacies

Based on a list of low-supply drugs in Czechia, the app will use a person's location and show the nearest pharmacies that have a specific medicine. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 20.06.2024 14:41:00 (updated on 20.06.2024) Reading time: 2 minutes

Since the beginning of this month, doctors and patients can check the availability of medicines that are in short supply in pharmacies through the eRecept app. The geolocation-based app will handily automatically display the 20 nearest pharmacies to the user in which the prescribed drug is in stock.

Saving time, increasing clarity

The State Institute for Medicines Control (SÚKL) wants to clarify which medicines are limited in Czechia. It tracks which medicines are in short supply and marks them on its database. Now, pharmacies will confirm whether they have the low-supply drugs. Important to note is that the eRecept app will not show the availability of all drugs: rather, it will show those with a nationwide shortage.

Deputy Minister of Health Jakub Dvořáček explains that the new innovation aims to bring greater clarity and ease for doctors and patients alike. It will, of course, save patients time and stress. According to SÚKL, Czechia experienced over 4,000 drug supply interruptions last year, with notable shortages in antibiotics such as doxycycline and penicillin, and allergy medicine for children.

Dvořáček explains that the current amount of drugs in short supply is roughly in the low hundreds. They are now all marked with the SÚKL code for pharmacies to confim whether they are in stock. A list of limited-availability drugs is found on the SÚKL website.

Ensuring that fewer pharmacies are out of stock

SÚKL will receive regular reports on the availability of these medicines and will share this information with pharmacies, doctors, and patients. SÚKL head of Department of Medicine Outages and Substitutability Jakub Velík assures that in the event of a significant change in the market, the designation of limited availability will be revoked and the product will return to normal circulation. SÚKL will aim to balance the supply of low-availability drugs across pharmacies.

According to Dvořáček, this new change will prevent situations where one pharmacy has a surplus of a restricted medicine while another has none. The Health Ministry hopes that this will increase patient protection against drug supply shortages.

Dvořáček reassures that the inclusion of a drug on the limited-availability list does not mean it will become entirely inaccessible. "We want the patient to have a general overview” of medicinal stock, he explains. The new app feature will also allow pharmacies to protect themselves against shortages by being ready to offer alternative drugs to patients, where applicable. 

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