Paracetamol and Ibuprofen in higher doses, Nolotil, Omeprazol, certain cough mixtures and some anti-histamine tablets, are medicines that should be prescribed by a medical professional, ever since a law from 2015 to this effect came into force. But many Farmacias do not comply with this legislation and still sell them over the counter. On the 9th of February 2019 a new system to identify and verify medicines has become operational, the result of EU Regulation and part of a EU system for the registration, identification and verification of medicines. The Sistema Español de Verificación de Medicamentos (SEVEM – Spanish System of Verification of Medicines). You should start to see QR-codes on packaging of medicines that are subject to registration under this system.
The professional associations (Colegios) of pharmacists, medical personnel, dentists and physiotherapists have started a campaign to improve patient safety, by insisting on prescriptions for the above mentioned medicines and are asking for the collaboration of all parties concerned.
It’s up to the Autonomous Authorities to check whether pharmacies comply. Sanctions vary between 3.000 and 6.000 per offence.
According to the head of the Association of Pharmacists, it’s not just about the dose, but also about what the medicines are used for. It’s different if a painkiller is used for incidental headaches or to treat chronic pain because of arthritis, as the latter requires medical supervision.
Ibuprofen 600 shouldn’t be sold without prescription, but some brands of Paracetamol 1g can still be bought over the counter in small quantities and if approved by the pharmacist in cases presented by patients.
Ibuprofen 400 mg and Paracetamol 500/650mg are exempt of the obligation to provide a prescription.
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