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Childrens' medication excepted from reform program

Posted August. 28, 2000 20:21,   


Steps are likely to be taken that will permit medication for children three years of age and younger with a high fever, epileptics and children of seriously handicapped parents to be dispensed at hospitals and clinics so their symptoms may be relieved quickly in the course of moving between hospitals and pharmacies.

In a meeting of cabinet members presided over by President Kim Dae-Jung at Chong Wa Dae and attended by the ministers of government administration, justice, culture and tourism, health and welfare, and labor, a consensus was reached on making an exception to the ongoing reform of the medical system aimed at banning hospitals and clinics from filling their own prescriptions and selling drugs.

The ranking officials also agreed to send out roving surveillance teams across the country to clamp down on violations of the medical service reform plan on and after July 30. These violations could include cozy deals between hospitals and pharmacies, the sale of medicines by pharmacists not prescribed by doctors or not included among ordinary over-the-counter drugs, and taking advantage of patients` vulnerability to sell them excess medication. Such extensive monitoring is necessary for the speedy implementation of the medical reform now being undertaken by the government.

The government, in its effort to streamline and ameliorate pharmaceutical laws in future revisions, is expected to take into account recommendations for improvements to the current reform measures made by the medical community upon their participation in the reform drive, with reference to an overall evaluation to be made by official monitoring teams.

It was also proposed at the meeting that complaint centers be set up at local government offices to deal with problems arising from the scheme of separating the prescription and distribution of medicine. The government will also have an emergency task force to prompt pharmaceutical manufacturers and wholesalers to expedite the production and shipment of prescription drugs. Many of them are reported to be in short supply these days.