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Germany: E-prescriptions in Berlin and Brandenburg

From 1st, July tests of the e-prescription system in some medical facilities and pharmacies will begin in Berlin and Brandenburg.

“In this so-called focus region there are around 50 doctor’s offices and 120 pharmacies that will test and then evaluate the e-Prescription system,” said Gabriele Regina Overwiening, president of the Federal Association of German Pharmaceutical Associations (ABDA).

The e-prescription will become compulsory in Germany for all persons with statutory health insurance from January 1, 2022.

What about privately insured person?

The blue prescription for privately insured person will initially still be available on paper. They should also have access to e-prescription in the future. According to ABDA, user-friendly billing concepts are still being developed here.

How does an electronic prescription work?

To use e-prescriptions, you need to install the free e-rezept application on your smartphone, which will be available on July 1 in the Google Play Store, Apple App Store and Huawei AppGallery. The application was developed by Gematik, which is responsible for the telematics infrastructure in Germany.

The patient will receive a special access code, thanks to which the internet prescription can be filled in the pharmacy.

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For the application to work, the smartphone must support the NFC transmission standard and have at least iOS 12 or Android 6 as the operating system, explains Gematik. An electronic health card with NFC functionality is also required – and you need to know the health card PIN.

What should I do if I don’t have a smartphone?

Access codes will be printed. The pharmacist will read the code from it and dispense the medication as prescribed by the doctor.

What benefits should an e-prescription bring me?

An electronic prescription is a convenience primarily for patients. Thanks to the electronic form of medical documentation, errors related to the patient’s data, incorrect drug name and its dosage will be limited.

The system for issuing electronic prescriptions also allows you to receive prescriptions for drugs taken on a permanent basis without the need for a medical visit. After reporting such a need, the doctor enters the prescription into the system, and the patient receives a smartphone code with which he can go straight to the pharmacy.