Green recipes: BAH draws a positive balance

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Green prescriptions: BAH draws a positive balance: Since January 2009, the Federal Association of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers (BAH) has provided doctors all over the country with free of charge 15 million of the so-called "green prescriptions". Critics see a pure boost in the sale of non-prescription drugs in the initiative.

The BAH developed the green prescription together with the German Pharmacists Association and the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians. It means that the doctor considers this drug medically necessary, but the patient has to pay for it himself. This prescription applies to non-prescription drugs - so-called OTC drugs (from the English word for "over the counter"). In 2004, OTC drugs were removed from the service catalog of the statutory health insurance companies.

Many patients thought that these drugs were also limited in their effectiveness and the sale of such drugs collapsed. And this is where the criticism of many observers comes in, who see the green prescription only as an accelerator for visiting the pharmacy and a possible turn to increased drug medicine. In naturopathy, people are skeptical about the color and name of the form. The word "green" could possibly cause confusion on the part of the patient, my observer. The word can give the impression that the remedies on the Green Recipe are exclusively naturopathic remedies.

Proponents point to the numbers and consider the initiative a success: Allegedly, every fifth non-prescription drug should be on a green prescription. Around 70 percent of general practitioners would now issue green prescriptions. Preparations for colds are at the forefront. In 2009 there should have been around 10 percent more green recipes on display than in 2008. Nevertheless, the BAH left the initiative at the end of 2009. For this purpose, the project is now to be continued by around 30 manufacturers of OTC funds. (Thorsten Fischer, naturopath osteopathy, March 9, 2010)

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