It is necessary to consult a doctor

Follow-up recipe

Anyone who needs a prescription goes to the doctor. For a follow-up recipe, however, is a personal consultation with the doctor is not absolutely necessary. It is sufficient to contact the practice by email or by phone. The prescription can then be picked up. The doctor is with it though not released from his duty of care. Before issuing a follow-up prescription, the dosage should be checked again and again to see whether the relevant active ingredient or the prescribed therapeutic measure is still required by the patient. If there is any doubt, the patient must visit again. For patients there is also the option of follow-up prescriptions on-line to order. But not all providers who offer this service are reputable (order prescriptions securely online).

What is a follow-up recipe?

Would like a doctor Prescribe drugs or remedies, he gives his patient a prescription. He or she can receive the therapeutic measures, aids or medication noted there on presentation of the document. Are on the prescription Information about the doctor, the patient, the date, the duration of the validity, the name of the drug or medicinal product and, in the case of a medicinal prescription, the dosage form and the amount of the drug to be dispensed recorded. A prescription is only valid if it has been signed by a licensed doctor. As Follow-up recipe is called a Prescription that enables further treatment with a medicine or remedy that has already been prescribed. The designation “follow-up recipe” is only permitted if the same doctor issues the prescription and it is actually that same medicinal product in the same amount and dosage form acts as before. For example, if the doctor changes the dosage, the patient should be re-examined at the same time.

Especially patients with chronic diseaseswho are regularly dependent on medication often need follow-up prescriptions. But it can also everyday need for follow-up recipes give, for example to repeatedly prescribe the pill or for physiotherapy or physiotherapy for back pain.

Is a doctor's appointment always necessary for a follow-up prescription?

No, it is for a follow-up recipe not absolutely necessary to consult the doctor personally. Instead, practice should by phone or by email to be contacted with a request for another prescription. In this way, the doctor has the opportunity to check the patient file again to see whether the continued prescription of the corresponding therapeutic agent is still appropriate before he signs the subsequent prescription. With the help of the file, he can get an idea of ​​the patient's condition at his last visit. Especially with Sleeping pills and sedatives it is absolutely necessary not to issue follow-up prescriptions without prior checking. Is there a suspicion Addictive, the doctor should call the patient again for a thorough examination. It is therefore not advisable to personally ask for a follow-up prescription in the practice. The doctor's duty of care is under time pressure and the patient may have to accept longer waiting times.

How is the issuing of follow-up prescriptions legally regulated in Germany?

In Germany there are strict legal regulations for the issuing of prescriptions and for the fulfillment of the doctor's duty of care. In the "(Model) professional code for doctors working in Germany" is the so-called many years ago Remote treatment ban has been included (Section 7, Paragraph 4). According to this, doctors are not allowed to treat patients exclusively through print and communication media. Personal contact is essential for the medical care of the patient, for example because the doctor needs all five of his senses for the physical examination in order to correctly assess the patient's condition, but also so that the patient has the opportunity for further questions on the occasion of the health education. Pharmacists, in turn, are allowed to Pharmacy operating regulations (ApBetrO) according to drugs, if there are doubts about compliance with the medical professional ordinance (§ 17, paragraph 5). Follow-up prescriptions may still be issued without a renewed physical examination of the patient if the doctor has decided on the appropriate therapy in personal contact with the patient in the past and if he assures himself that the therapy should be continued in accordance with the prescription before issuing the follow-up prescription .

What problems can there be when redeeming follow-up prescriptions?

When issuing a prescription, the doctor can decide whether to use a so-called Finished preparation prescribes, i.e. a drug with a specific active ingredient that is manufactured by a specific company, or whether he is a Drug prescription undertakes. In the case of an active ingredient prescription, he only specifies the active ingredient and dosage of the drug. Most health insurance companies close Discount agreements with pharmaceutical manufacturersso that not every drug (finished preparation) is reimbursed by every health insurance company. In the case of an active ingredient prescription, the pharmacist gives this to the patient Generic (preparation with the same active substance), which will be taken over by its cash register. If this preparation is not available, he must offer one of the three cheapest preparations with the same active ingredients. Even if the doctor has prescribed a finished preparation, the pharmacist must adhere to the discount agreements of the health insurers. This rule can only be used with a ad idem prescription be bypassed. The doctor has the option of ticking the “ad-idem” box in front of the name of the drug on the prescription. In this case, the pharmacist is obliged to hand over exactly the prescribed preparation. Doctors only make use of the ad-idem rule if there is a valid medical reason to do so, for example if an unknown preparation is used Adherence endanger the patient. The smooth process when ordering, collecting and redeeming follow-up prescriptions has a decisive influence on the willingness and ability of the patient to adhere to the doctor's therapy recommendations. Especially in older patients, an unknown preparation can shake confidence in the effectiveness of the drug.

Can a follow-up prescription also be ordered online?

Yes, many platforms offer the Ordering of follow-up prescriptions also online at. But be careful: there is also Providers whose procedures conflict with German legislation. This includes the British company DrEd. There, prescriptions are issued after completing a questionnaire or - if necessary - after an online consultation hour via video chat. The German legislator wants to prevent such service offers in the future. This jeopardizes the correct medical care of patients.


Federal Medical Association, "(Sample) professional code for doctors working in Germany": (accessed on 04.04. 2017)

Federal Medical Association, "Notes and explanations on § 7 paragraph 4 MBO-Ä (remote treatment)": (accessed on 04/04/2017)

Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, "Ordinance on the operation of pharmacies (Apothekenbetriebsordnung - ApBetrO)": (accessed on 04.04.2017)

Deutsche Apotheker Zeitung, "No drug dispensing without doctor-patient contact": contact (accessed on 04/04/2017)

Löffler, K., "The issuing of follow-up ordinances": (accessed on 04/04/2017)

Important NOTE: This article only contains general information and descriptions on the subject of follow-up recipes. It is not suitable for self-diagnosis or self-treatment and under no circumstances can it replace a doctor's visit.

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