Slovakia as the only CEE country with API prescription system
Slovakia is the only Central European country in which an API prescription system is used, but in other countries in the region patients may ask for a cheaper drug equivalent at a pharmacy. However, they quite rarely use this option. For example, in the Czech Republic, only 9% of patients always ask the pharmacist for a cheaper equivalent of the prescribed drug, according to a survey carried out in 2011 by STEM/MARK, and 48% never do so.
According to an online survey carried out by Szinapszis in 2010, only one-third of patients in Hungary would accept a pharmacist’s recommendation and buy the alternative drug offered.
The reason is that patients are not and cannot be adequately informed about the profound differences in reimbursement by health insurance companies, which lead to large discrepancies in patent co-payment.
Also in Hungary most patients do not use generic drugs because they are not recommended by doctors and pharmacists and also because of a form of loyalty to the brand they use, which can be observed in their attitude.
According to an online survey carried out by Szinapszis in 2010, only one-third of patients in Hungary would accept a pharmacist’s recommendation and buy the alternative drug offered. Almost half of patients would not choose another product without consulting a doctor and approximately one-quarter insist on buying a medicine prescribed by a doctor. The survey also revealed that 51% of patients have never asked for a cheaper drug alternative at a pharmacy.
Senior Pharmaceutical Analyst, PMR