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Table 1 Description of the generic drug substitution policy and the unified medical prescription form

From: Pharmacists’ views and reported practices in relation to a new generic drug substitution policy in Lebanon: a mixed methods study

  Characteristics
Generic drug substitution policy The policy stipulated that pharmacists may disburse to bearers of prescription drugs generic medicines not mentioned in the prescription under the following conditions:
•Alternative medicine should be included in the list of alternative medicines published by the MOPH in accordance with the WHO standards.
•The medicine should contain the same active ingredient as the one mentioned in the prescription and in the same quantities and pharmacological form.
•The price of sale of the substituted medicine in Lebanon should be less than the price of sale of the prescribed medicine.
•The patient must agree to the substitution.
•The physician must indicate acceptance of substitution. The pharmacist cannot change the prescription if the physician ticked the “Non-substitutable” (NS) box.
Unified medical prescription form The old prescription form has been replaced with a new unified medical prescription form that permits generic drug substitution:
•Patients, pharmacists, and health care providers are required to use one combined (i.e., unified) medical prescription form.
•The form should be distributed in three copies: one for the physician, one for the patient, and one for the pharmacist.
•The form is composed of several sections targeting physicians, pharmacists/radiologists/laboratory staff, insured patients, and insurance parties.
•There is an option, in the form, that allows the physician to prescribe non-substitutable medications as per the 47th article of the practice law of pharmacy profession.
•Physicians are required to purchase the form from the Order of Physician.