In Kosovo, the sale of medicines without a doctor’s prescription continues
Citizens can still buy drugs without a doctor’s prescription in pharmacies around the country. This is also accepted by the Chamber of Pharmacists of Kosovo as well as the Association for the Protection of Patients’ Rights, who assess the situation as disturbing. According to them, you can also buy antidepressant drugs at the pharmacy without a doctor’s prescription.
The vice president of the Chamber of Pharmacists of Kosovo, Dardana Mehaj, stated that the provision of medicines without a doctor’s prescription is still problematic.
“There are many types of drugs that citizens themselves bring to pharmacies, without a doctor’s recommendation first. However, the pharmacist is the one who must explain which drug is taken without a prescription and which is not and what should be given. The patient can self-medicate, because there are cases when there is a slight cold, or some symptoms of fatigue, change of seasons. There are also therapies that do not need a doctor’s prescription. However, there are cases when drugs must be prescribed and the pharmacist should not give those that are prohibited by law”, said Mehaj.
Mehaj admitted that there are still citizens who seek painkillers without a doctor’s prescription.
According to her, it should be understood that medicine without a doctor’s recommendation can be harmful to the user.
“Any drug that is abused, taken without a doctor’s recommendation, can suffer side effects. In each drug described in the instructions that they have inside, the side effects of that drug are also described. It is also the duty of the pharmacist to prescribe to the patient”, emphasized Mehaj.
Even the use of antibiotics cannot be done without a doctor’s recommendation, as an initial analysis is required beforehand, due to the side effects they can cause.
While antidepressants are one of the types of drugs, which are most often sought after in pharmacies, and which are forbidden to be sold without a doctor’s prescription.
“Psychotropic drugs are not given without a prescription or the drugs they call with a red prescription or red stamp… Therefore, antidepressants are not taken without a prescription. There are also many other drugs that should not be distributed in pharmacies without a prescription”, continued Mehaj.
The president of the Association for the Protection of Patients’ Rights, Besim Kodra, said that the sale of over-the-counter medications is disturbing and harms the health of patients, while adding that the pharmaceutical inspectorate is not supervising the work in pharmacies.
“It’s definitely worrying, because the use of drugs is huge. Even those that are written by the health staff, many drugs are prescribed, and on the other hand, patients are free to go and get almost any type of drug at the pharmacy without any problem. Although this is prohibited by law for some drugs, which cannot be sold without a prescription. However, here it is violated on both sides. And the pharmaceutical inspectorate is not the one that is supervising the work of pharmacies, which are selling drugs to patients even without a prescription. There should be a greater inspection and the sale of drugs without a prescription should be stopped, because this harms the health of patients to a great extent”, said Kodra.
Even Mehaj thinks that pharmacists are not the only ones to blame in this case.
“There is an administrative instruction for prescriptions, but unfortunately it is not implemented. In this case, the competent bodies, the Ministry of Health, the AKPM, the Pharmaceutical Inspectorate should deal with the approval of this instruction and not always blame the pharmacies”, she added, writes kp.
The period of the beginning of the pandemic and what followed after that is considered the time of the greatest drug abuse.