Fri, Mar 01, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Bureau set to crack down on waste of prescription drugs

STRAIN ON NHI:The bureau wants to increase monitoring of waste and make NHI abusers pay back the costs of waste, as well as monitoring hospitals

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

The Bureau of National Health Insurance (BNHI) said earlier this week that starting this year, it will tighten its oversight of prescription drug distribution to reduce waste, paying special attention to those who often make repeated visits to different hospitals for the same kinds of medicines using National Health Insurance (NHI) benefits.

Patients with chronic illness are entitled to coverage of a three-month “consecutive drug prescription” by the NHI if their doctor considers the patient’s conditions stable, but some patients fail to take the prescribed medicines regularly, resulting in large quantities of leftover medication, the BNHI said. It also said some patients visit two or more hospitals to receive multiple sets of the same medication.

The bureau said it was mulling making those who waste NHI benefits reinstate part of the cost. It also aims to increase monitoring of patients who are prescribed more than 10 kinds of medication in one visit and institutes that prescribe more than five kinds of medication at once.

Consulting sessions will be conducted for patients who act in the above-mentioned ways to fully understand their needs and doctors will be required to check patients’ medication records, the bureau added.

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