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HomeLatest NewsThe silent drug revolution that says goodbye to paper inserts

The silent drug revolution that says goodbye to paper inserts

Date: June 19, 2024 Time: 00:13:19

In the fast-paced world of the pharmaceutical industry, where business decisions are closely intertwined with the well-being of patients, economics plays a crucial role. As is the case with the amendment that the European Union is carrying out since 2022, when it will have a reform in pharmaceutical legislation in which it promoted a pilot project for the transition of the leaflet of paper medicines to the electronic or digital model.

Every strategic move by the EU and every technological innovation can have a significant impact on companies’ balance sheets and consumers’ quality of life. However, since the pilot project that suppressed the paper package insert was launched in a small group of medicines for human use in hospitals, where the benefits have been most reflected is at the logistical level, according to María Álvarez, coordinator of Regulatory Matters of the Spanish Association of Generic Medicines (AESEG), since having them all digitized “it is not necessary every time a leaflet is updated, to have to re-manufacture it and add it to its corresponding boxes, therefore it speeds up the process and improves the supply chain”, explains the coordinator.

Likewise, in this context of digitalization of drug leaflets, a trend emerges that not only promises greater convenience and accessibility but also poses financial and environmental implications. “We are consuming less paper, not only that of the leaflets, but every time a new leaflet was generated, a reel had to be generated for each medicine, and now, in Spain, this is not carried out, which saves a lot of paper “, they add from AESEG therefore the consumption of this is reduced and the economic expenses as well, which causes the hospitals to be “happier”.

Expansion from 15 to 100 medications

The change from traditional paper prospectuses to their digital version is positioned as a transcendental step in the industry, with effects both in the production and distribution chain and in the pockets of pharmaceutical companies and their consumers.

Despite the fact that the pilot proposal that was accepted by the EU and that is being carried out in Spain, is only applied in the hospital environment and not in pharmacies in which the consumer is the direct agent, hospitals ensure that The experience is being very positive and the Spanish Agency for Generic Medicines confirms that it intends to expand this proposal in such a way that the number of digitized medicines has increased, “we currently have 15 medicines, now we want to extrapolate them to about 100” assures the AESEG coordinator adora. To do this, in May they sent the list of medicines they would like to have available and they are still waiting for the agency to approve it, “it won’t take long, before the summer we will know if it will be expanded or not,” says María.

In the consumer framework, the proposal leaves each Member State to act according to what it considers to be in its best interest. However, from the AESEG they do not see that this amendment goes beyond the hospital environment and can reach the patient directly, this is because the sector must ensure that the drugs continue to be safe and continue to be used properly .

What would happen if they implemented the digital prospectus?

Until now, the pilot project is fulfilling pharmaceutical interests in hospitals and, in turn, the use of new technologies at the service of patients “is always positive”, according to the General Council of Pharmacists, who is already putting this evolution into practice. to the digital realm.

However, for the senior population, all prospectuses going digital would pose a problem, the Council notes. “It would often create difficulties in accessing electronic media and there could be problems consulting this information,” confirms Antonio Blanes, director of the Pharmaceutical Services of the General Council of Pharmaceutical Colleges.

Therefore, from the council they believe that it is essential that the information contained in the leaflets, to favor a better use, is always together with the medicine, and they clarify that it is not enough that it is accessible in an electronic forum. In the same way, the Organization of Consumers and Users points out that the disappearance of the paper prospectus would undoubtedly affect the most vulnerable consumers since to access the prospectus they will have to use a smartphone to scan a QR code and be able to access it.

In addition, it would generate a majority rejection of citizens, as indicated by a recent OCU survey that the opposition to this reform is specifically a 78% majority, a percentage that increases to 83% in people over 63 years of age.

A very thoughtful measure

To talk about what will happen in the future, it is unrealistic to raise the issue in terms of “re-education” when we talk about older and vulnerable people. From the study carried out by the OCU, they believe that the most sensible thing to do is to extend the period of paper-digital coexistence until they are sure that the digital divide has been completely closed. We speak, in this sense, in generational terms. This change is not going to happen in a short time.

A recent OCU survey shows that 1 in 4 Spaniards have ever experienced an error in relation to their medication. With this background context, drastically changing the way in which citizens access information related to their medicines should be a very thoughtful measure.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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