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With online medical treatment, how are medicines handled?


As the new coronavirus infection spreads, you may hesitate to visit a hospital or clinic even if
you have symptoms of concern. In such cases, online medical care is an option.
Online medical examination is a method of receiving examinations using a smartphone or
personal computer. It is very convenient because you can receive medical examinations at
home (or any other place you like) without having to go to the hospital. Due to the timely
deregulation following the COVID epidemic, the number of hospitals and clinics that are
incorporating online medical care is increasing.
By the way, what happens with drug prescriptions for this online practice?

How many days’ worth of medicine can be obtained online?

First of all, it is possible to get medicines even with online medical treatment.
For example, many people take medicine for chronic illnesses such as high blood pressure and
diabetes. Of course, it’s okay for your doctor to prescribe the medicines you normally take as
However, there are some restrictions in the case of online medical treatment.
One is the case of a first visit. Online medical treatment for the first medical examination is also
permitted as a timely treatment due to the COVID epidemic, but if, at the first medical
examination, the patient cannot understand the information about the underlying disease from
the medical record (medical record), etc., it has been established that the maximum duration of
the prescription is 7 days.
In other words, if you use online medical care for your first visit, as a rule, you can obtain
medicine for up to 7 days.

Some medicines cannot be dispensed via online medical treatment

Depending on the type of medicine, there are some that cannot be given via online medical
For example, narcotics and psychotropic drugs cannot be prescribed if you use online medical
care from the first visit. Psychiatric drugs are drugs that act on the central nervous system to
affect the state and function of the mind.These include antidepressants, sleeping pills,
anxiolytics (mental stabilizers), and nootropics.
The reason why these drugs are not well-suited for online medicine is, “When performing
medical treatment using telephones or information and communication equipment from the first
visit, it is difficult to prevent abuse and resale due to impersonation of patients and false
In addition, drugs that require special safety management, such as anticancer drugs and
immunosuppressants, cannot be provided through online medical care.

How to receive medicine through online medical care

So how do you have your medicines prescribed through online practice?
Here, there are two main methods of prescribing medicine: “in-hospital prescription” and
“out-of-hospital prescription”.
In-hospital prescription means receiving the medicine at the pharmacy in the hospital / clinic
where you were examined.
Out-of-hospital prescription is to have a prescription issued at the hospital / clinic where you
have been examined, and then receive the medicine at a dispensing pharmacy outside the
If you receive online medical treatment at a hospital / clinic that uses in-hospital prescriptions,
the hospital / clinic will deliver it directly to the patient’s home.
On the other hand, if you receive online medical treatment at an out-of-hospital prescription
hospital / clinic, the prescription information will be sent by fax from the hospital / clinic to the
pharmacy desired by the patient.
On top of that, there are two ways patients can receive their medication.
One is to go directly to the pharmacy where the prescription information was sent.
The other is to have the pharmacy deliver it to your home.

How to receive medicine at Metro Pharmacy

Since April 2020, we at Metro Pharmacy have been providing a service in which pharmacists
explain medicines over the phone and deliver the medicines to the patients’ homes.
If the prescription information is faxed from the medical institution when you receive online
medical treatment, the pharmacist will call the patient first. After that, the medicine will be
delivered by mail or courier to the place specified by the patient.
Of course, if you are close, you can also come to pick up your medicine directly after faxing the
prescription information from the medical institution.
Please use the method that is most convenient for you.
◎ Reference
Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare “Q & A regarding timely and special handling of medical
treatment using telephones and information and communication equipment when the new
coronavirus infection spreads”
Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare “Regarding timely and special handling of medical
treatment using telephones and information devices when the new coronavirus infection

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