International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 282–286 | Cite as

Prescribing with indication: uptake of regulations in current practice and patients opinions in the Netherlands

  • Inge G. A. Holsappel
  • Ellen S. KosterEmail author
  • Nina A. Winters
  • Marcel L. Bouvy
Short Research Report


Background Since January 2012 the Dutch Medicines Act has been changed to enable medication monitoring and counselling for individual patients. Prescribers of medicines are now obliged to record the indication on the prescription of medicines mentioned in this law. Objective To assess patients’ opinion about recording of the indication on prescription and to explore the uptake of alterations in the medicines act in clinical practice. Methods The study was conducted in a sample of 57 community pharmacies belonging to the Utrecht Pharmacy Practice Network for Education and Research. In total, 528 patients were interviewed in these pharmacies and automated dispensing records were obtained from 22 community pharmacies to check prescriptions for linking of diagnosis codes (indications). Results For 12.5 % of the prescriptions that required notification of the indication, a diagnosis code was mentioned. For all other medicines, 15.1 % of the prescriptions were provided with diagnosis codes. There was large variation between different drugs. Only 11.7 % of the interviewed patients were familiar with the law. The majority of patients (91.1 %) had no objections with mentioning the indication for use on the prescription. Conclusion Indications are insufficiently mentioned on prescriptions while the majority of patients are generally positive about the law.


Community pharmacy Medicines act Medication safety Prescribing indication Prescription The Netherlands 



The authors would like to thank the community pharmacies for participating in this study, the pharmacy students are acknowledged for their contribution to the data collection.


No special funding was received for this study.

Conflicts of interest

No conflicts of interest to declare.


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Copyright information

© Koninklijke Nederlandse Maatschappij ter bevordering der Pharmacie 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Inge G. A. Holsappel
    • 1
  • Ellen S. Koster
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nina A. Winters
    • 1
  • Marcel L. Bouvy
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Clinical Pharmacology, Department of Pharmaceutical SciencesUtrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands

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