In emergencies, pharmacists could soon sell drugs without prescriptions

Knesset Labor, Social Welfare and Health Committee approved bill for its second and third readings.

March 17, 2016 05:54
1 minute read.
A senior citizen sorts her daily medical prescriptions

A senior citizen sorts her daily medical prescriptions. (photo credit: REUTERS)

A bill that would permit licensed pharmacists to provide customers with certain prescription drugs in emergencies without a doctor’s prescription was approved on Wednesday by the Knesset Labor, Social Welfare and Health Committee for its second and third readings.

At the same time, supervision of pharmacies, pharmacists, importers and manufacturers would be boosted to fight the phenomena of counterfeit and stolen drugs, with punishments of a year’s imprisonment and fines of up to NIS 30,000 against violators.

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The bill would also set down instructions for marketing, import, storage and sales of drugs in pharmacies and regulations for removing damaged products from the shelves and their destruction if necessary.

A pharmacist who has been practicing for at least two years would be allowed to prescribe certain medications for customers in emergencies after checking their medical conditions and after the recipient commits himself to bring a physician’s prescription within 72 hours.

Pharmacists would not be able to provide drugs considered to be dangerous under the proposed new procedure. Under the law, charitable organizations that provide drugs donated to them when unused would not be included under the regulations.

Dr. Eyal Schwartzberg, the ministry’s chief pharmacist, said the new provisions would make it easier to prevent harm to public health. We don’t ask to punish, but to supervise.”

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