Refereed journal article or data article (A1)

Electronic Prescriptions Are Slowly Spreading in the European Union

List of Authors: Mia Mäkinen, Päivi Rautava, Jari Forsström, Markku Äärimaa


Publication year: 2011

Journal: Telemedicine and e-Health

Journal name in source: TELEMEDICINE AND E-HEALTH

Journal acronym: TELEMED E-HEALTH

Number in series: 3

Volume number: 17

Issue number: 3

Start page: 217

End page: 222

Number of pages: 6

ISSN: 1530-5627


Objective: This study investigated whether the adoption of electronic prescriptions (e-prescriptions) had increased in the 27 member countries of the European Union (EU) in the beginning of this decade. Our previous study in 2002 concerning the old union with 15 countries had discovered that e-prescriptions were rare in daily practice and that there was only slight interest for their future use. Since the internal market with free movement of people, goods, services, and capital is a central issue in the Union, we took a cross-border view of the use of the e-prescriptions. Materials and Methods: A semiopen questionnaire on the use of e-prescriptions, chosen systems, the process itself, investments, and the acceptance of non-national European prescriptions was e-mailed to community pharmacy associations of the 27 EU member countries that were members of or otherwise identified by the Pharmaceutical Group of the EU. Results: Five countries were using e-prescriptions as a part of their daily practice, but only Denmark and Sweden reported nationwide use. These countries were the same that used e-prescriptions nationally already in 2002. Pilots presented in 2002 had not yet advanced into daily practice. Some new pilots/projects were prepared in the old and new member countries. E-prescription models and systems used were divergent between the countries and sometimes even within a country. Conclusions: Nationwide use of e-prescriptions was not more common than in 2002. Several countries had piloted or were piloting projects on e-prescriptions. Interoperability of different systems is a challenge to which EU-funded projects might offer a solution.

Last updated on 2021-24-06 at 10:52