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Pharmacies in Saxony have problems with electronic prescriptions

The pharmacy A can be seen in the morning at a pharmacy in Neustadt. / Photo: Robert Michael/dpa
The pharmacy A can be seen in the morning at a pharmacy in Neustadt. / Photo: Robert Michael/dpa

Pharmacies in Saxony struggle with hours of technical failures for e-prescriptions, demand action from Federal Minister of Health

For days, numerous pharmacies in Saxony have been experiencing problems with the technology for implementing electronic prescriptions failing, sometimes for hours on end. The Saxon Pharmacists' Association complained about this and called on the Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach (SPD) on Wednesday to take responsibility for safe patient care. The cause of the system failures was a provider responsible for transmitting e-prescriptions from doctors' surgeries to pharmacies. The victims are the patients and also the pharmacies.

"Actually, with such a serious intervention in the supply structure, such as the digitization of medical prescriptions, one assumes a comprehensive pilot with an included stress test of the systems," said the chairman of the association, Thomas Dittrich. Especially as the hardware and software used by the provider in question had been certified by Gematik, the federal company responsible for the telematics infrastructure in the healthcare sector.

"We cannot provide our patients with safe care in this way, and the pharmacies affected are also suffering enormous economic damage as a result of these failures," criticized Dittrich. Due to a lack of fee increases, there have already been a serious number of pharmacy closures for economic reasons for years. Lauterbach must take responsibility for the supply of medicines to the population.

According to Dittrich, there is "neither a reliable promise that pharmacies will not be left with the costs of medicines due to technical malfunctions of the e-prescription, nor a binding regulation as to who will assume economic responsibility for the numerous failures."

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