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Good news for patients: prescription medicine can already be purchased online

Date

2022 07 15

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Prescription medicine and reimbursed medial aids (MA) can already be purchased online using electronic prescriptions – the special online platform of remote pharmacies on the e-health system has just been launched. This platform has already been joined by Camelia pharmacy network and Eurovaistinė Internete e-pharmacies, offering prescription medicine and MA. This innovation will enable the residents to purchase prescription medicine from any pharmacy connected to the platform remotely, using the benefits of being able to compare prices and co-payment sizes, also to choose the method of delivery.

‘We’ve been actively and successfully preparing for this day with great responsibility, cooperating with the Centre of Registers and looking for the most suitable technical solution. The chosen model – a single system for all pharmacies – will ensure the maximum safe, high-quality, convenient and competitive remote trade in prescribed medicine and medical aids. And today we can affirm that the system is already working. Everyone is welcome to use it.’ said Aurimas Pečkauskas, Vice-Minister of Health.

Diana Vilytė, Services Management Director of the Centre of Registers, managing the E-health system, said that the project of remote pharmacies is an excellent example of cooperation between state institutions and private business.

‘Only with full involvement of all participants we managed to create and offer a digital solution enabling to purchase prescription medicine without leaving your home and it is likely currently the most advanced system of its kind all over the European Union. The platform on the e-health system will provide a list of all available prescription medicine options based on their e-prescriptions, and the patients will only need to select the option that is the most appealing. We believe that taking this advanced path we will develop even more solutions that will facilitate all of our lives.’ says Vilytė.

The new medication trade platform will be not only convenient, but also safe – patients will be able to purchase medicine only upon confirming their identity using an e-signature or online banking credentials. It also improves business competition – all pharmacies will be able to compete under the same conditions and be visible in the remote prescription medication sales market.

Kristina Nemaniūtė-Gagė, Chair of the Lithuanian Pharmaceutical Association, says that she’s delighted of the steps taken by the joint effort of the pharmacies and state institutions in developing the availability options of the most needed medicine despite the challenges, posed by the pandemic and other difficulties. She also shared that members of the Lithuanian Pharmaceutical Association that already implement remote trade in prescription medicine include Eurovaistinė Internete, soon to be joined by Gintarinė, Norfa and Benu pharmacies.

‘We hope that other Lithuanian pharmacies will join the system as well. Thus users of the e-services will be able to choose the most appealing prescription medication offers, ensured by the wide choice of pharmacies in Lithuania. The scale of e-trade in non-prescription medicine keeps growing every year, thus the new service will also make it easier for the patients to acquire the necessary prescribed medicine without having to leave their home. That is particularly important for persons, who cannot go to the pharmacy themselves due to movement disabilities or temporary health issues.’ emphasized Nemaniūtė-Gagė.

Andrius Jurgelevičius, head of UAB Azeta, managing Eurovaistinė Internete, says that the company already has experience in selling prescription medicine in Estonia, intending to keep improving this service in Lithuania based on the resident needs and expectations.

‘In the context of recent events, the possibility to get the specialists you need remotely and purchase prescription medicine and other goods online became a necessity, eventually evolving into a convenient daily life. We keep monitoring an increase in the medication sales online for several years now and with this new feature – prescription medication sales – we will become a full-fledged pharmacy online, offering a wide range of products, live consultations of qualified pharmacists and a fast home delivery. According to our plan, the medicine should reach our clients in Vilnius and Kaunas on the day of ordering. Moreover, based on the experience of other countries, we also have plans to improve our e-trade to make it more convenient and intuitive to our clients.’ shared Jurgelevičius.

According to Jūratė Kulberkienė, Head of the National Medicines Trade Association, the team of their member Camelia pharmacy network actively worked on this project for several months in close cooperation with the Centre of Registers.

‘There was a number of challenges and the project required a lot of resources, but we hope that the patients purchasing prescription medication will find this platform convenient and useful: couriers delivering orders from Camelia pharmacy will reach our clients in the farthest corners of Lithuania. Pharmacists will offer remote pharmaceutical services regarding the medication purchased online only then followed by processing of the order. Pharmaceutical services will be provided to the patients of this pharmacy network on a priority basis and as fast as possible.’ said Kulberkienė.  

Karolis Baltrušaitis, Head of CGI Lithuania, which developed the remote pharmacy system and implemented its technical solution, noted that only 4 EU member states besides Lithuania, have an e-prescription system, and the number of those that offer an opportunity to purchase prescription medication via an e-health platform, is even smaller.

‘Lithuania is unique – we are the only ones providing a list of medication, offered by all connected pharmacies, by the active ingredient, prescribed by a GP, rather than title. During the development of the remote pharmacies, a lot of attention was focused on the personal data protection of the patients: the user data delivered to the pharmacy using safe channels is encrypted on several levels and technically cannot be reached by external systems.’ claimed Baltrušaitis.

Prescription medication and medical aids can be purchased on the remote pharmacy platform as of today, 12 July.

A video tutorial on purchasing prescription medication and medical aids online is available here.

(Ministry of Health photo)

Press Service of the Ministry of Health

(Piktochart pict.)

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