Dispensing Maintenance Medication to Take Home not Allowed
Providing take home maintenance medication is strictly not allowed! The cited guidelines from the German Medical Association (Bundesärztekammer) (Item 9, Verschreibung zur eigenverantwortlichen Einnahme des Substitutionsmittels [Prescribing for the purposes of the patient taking substitution medication under their own responsibility] regulate take-home prescriptions. The German Medical Association’s guidelines are very clear that providing substitution drugs from the practice’s own dispensary is prosecutable.
Giving maintenance medication to take home furthermore constitutes an infringement of §43 of the German Drug Act, which establishes the monopoly of pharmacies in this context. In the German Narcotics Law, §29 categorizes the provision of narcotics as “unauthorized circulation of a narcotic drug” and a criminal offense (see also the judgment of the Administrative Court in Cologne of 24 April 2012, reference number: 7 K 7253/10).
The substituting physician is only allowed to dispense a take-home prescription (if the patient is allowed and able to “take home”) to the patient in person, but never the substitute drug itself. The terminology “take home” prescription has often led to misunderstandings in this respect.
|1.||Gutwinski S, Bald LK, Heinz A, Müller CA, Schmidt AK, Wiers C, Bermpohl F, Gallinat J: Take home maintenance medication in opiate dependence. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2013; 110(23–24): 405–12 VOLLTEXT|