The statutory health insurance companies reimburse drugs that can be bought without a prescription in the pharmacy, since January 1, 2004 only in exceptional cases. This reform has significantly changed the health behavior of the population. But what does not change: the drugs are in effect and quality is still the same!
No prescription - but not ineffective!
Today, the Germans look for smaller complaints no longer immediately on the doctor, but buy themselves in the pharmacy OTC preparation. Of the more than 23, 000 drugs that are approved in Germany, about every fifth is available without a prescription at the pharmacy. Many everyday complaints and minor health problems do not necessarily require the consultation of a doctor and can be treated in the context of self-medication.
Self-medication means all self-responsible measures with over-the-counter medicines for the preservation of health and for the treatment of health disorders. OTC stands for "over the counter" and refers to all medicines that are given over the counter in the pharmacy without a doctor's prescription. Eighty percent of the population take medicines for minor illnesses such as a cold, a slight stomach upset or a headache, without having consulted a doctor. Today, self-medication is well-tolerated and well tolerated.
In addition to the increase in self-medication visits to the doctor are declining or retarded: 58 percent of Germans initially try to help themselves with over-the-counter medicines - 5 percent more than in 2003. Germans also take precaution seriously: 42 percent face health risks with over-the-counter preparations.
The pharmacy as a health consultant
When buying over-the-counter drugs, 74 percent of Germans in the pharmacy can be advised. Pharmacists are increasingly acting as health consultants, especially for minor ailments. Nevertheless, only the doctor may make a diagnosis and initiate therapy.
For the doctors, the health care reform does not mean any loss of meaning, on the contrary: The model "green recipe" is also accepted by the population. The "green prescription" is nothing more than a written recommendation by the doctor for drugs that are no longer reimbursable due to the health care reform (GMG).
24-hour health service
The pharmacy is at the disposal of the population in all matters relating to health and supports chronically ill people. In particular, the delivery of all medications requiring advice or explanation as well as the information and advice on medicines is reserved for the pharmacy.
It is also part of daily pharmaceutical practice to question patients' complaints as well as the critical examination of product wishes. The big advantage for the customers - also in the context of self-medication: whoever is insecure or seeks advice has the opportunity to seek immediate and immediate advice in the pharmacy. Pharmacies thus contribute significantly to drug safety, therapeutic success and thus quality assurance in OTC drug therapy.
The new "patient generation"
In the meantime, a new generation of patients is emerging in the society thanks to new sources of information and health care reform: the patient who consciously avoids harmful behavior and the patient with self-activity, the so-called "informed-body-conscious". This "health manager" takes the responsibility for himself and wants to decide when he visits a doctor or pharmacist. As part of self-medication, he seeks quality through the pharmacy.
Here, too, the pharmacy can help to empower patients in their decision-making competence and personal responsibility so that they can actively shape their health behavior. Source: ABDA