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We have all seen ourselves at some time in need of acquiring a medication that required a medical prescription. More and more products fall into the “forbidden” category if they are not ordered by a health professional. That is why it is important to know the different types of medical prescriptions in Social Security and also in private health, as well as who are the professionals trained to write a prescription.

Types of medical prescription in Social Security

Depending on who issues and who receives the prescription, it is possible to find different types of documents, although all with the same purpose of providing a medication to a patient through a pharmacist, who is the one who dispenses that medication.

Medical prescription in Social Security

The prescription model is the same for all public health centers in Spain. It consists of two parts, which are divided between the body of the prescription and the patient instructions flyer. This document includes all the information related to the patient, the doctor, and the treatment that will have to be followed, defining the medication and the way of carrying out the treatment. It is a document that must be signed by the doctor or health specialist, and that is valid for ten days from the date of issue.

Medical prescriptions from Social Security can be of several types:

  • Depending on the scope of application. Medical prescriptions can cover treatments established in the outpatient setting, or treatments established in hospitals, but intended for non-hospitalized patients.
  • According to the character of the model. The prescriptions will have a different color depending on the situation of the beneficiary. They will be green in the case of active users, red in the case of pensioner users, and blue in the case of users with an occupational disease.

private medical prescription

It is a document with the same validity and form as public recipes. The main difference between one and the other is that the private medical prescription is intended for those health professionals who have a private practice or clinic, not attached to the public health system. In this category are doctors, dentists, podiatrists, physiotherapists, etc.

Private medical prescriptions can be:

  • Paper recipe. Made on a physical support, with the same characteristics as public medical prescriptions. It must also contain all the information related to the patient, the treatment and the health professional who prescribes the document, it being essential that their signature appear on the paper.
  • Recipe in electronic support. This is a new method that is beginning to allow prescriptions to be made through the electronic systems of the General Councils of Prescribing Professions, which greatly facilitates the work of specialists.

dispensing order

There is one last option when it comes to obtaining medicines. Since 2015, nursing professionals have been trained to issue the so-called dispensing orders, a document with a similar validity to medical prescriptions that allow the patient to acquire a specific medication.

Digital recipes and traditional recipes

We can define the types of medical prescriptions in Spain based on different criteria, one of which refers to the process we carry out to complete their content.

Social Security has accepted digital prescriptions for years, in this case it is prescriptions that are carried out from a digital device, for example from a tablet, a telephone or a computer.

The traditional recipes were organized in booklets, it was the professional himself who included the recipe data by hand and it had to be sealed with a personal stamp. Currently, there are safer digital prescriptions, which also allow for an automatic digitized record of the patient’s drug history.

At Clinic Cloud we have created a clinical program that includes the possibility of filling prescriptions digitally, creating a personal profile for each patient in which we record all their prescriptions. Once complete, the prescription can be printed for delivery to the pharmacy.

Special character recipes

Depending on the medicine they refer to, we also find some types of special prescriptions.

  • Self-vised: In this case, these are prescriptions that the patient himself can request, if the doctor has so prescribed. There are situations in which a person must frequently go to the pharmacy, self-visas are rare, but they allow older people, especially, to have certain treatments without having to go to an appointment with their family doctor.
  • Prescriptions with inspection visa: These prescriptions are authorized by a Health Services Inspector, based on a previous medical report. Visa prescriptions are usually authorized for allergy-related vaccines, bacterial treatments, and diet therapy.
  • Narcotic drugs: These types of drugs have a therapeutic effect, but they also generate side effects that can alter the patient’s routines. People who need a prescription for narcotic drugs have special prescriptions, which include the contact information of the prescriber in case it is necessary to confirm the details of the prescription itself.

What data does a recipe always include?

Regardless of the types of medical prescriptions that exist in Spain, there is a series of data common to any prescription.

It is essential that the prescription include the patient’s data, with name, surname, birth and ID, if it is a minor, it is possible to complete these data with those of the parents or guardians.

Obviously, it is important that the name of the medicine and the reference data of this medicine appear that can be of help to the patient and the pharmacist. In this regard, it is also advisable to include the dosage and any question that has to do with the shots. These issues are included in the treatment dosage.

It is also important to indicate the number of containers prescribed, even if only one container is prescribed.

All prescriptions must have the data of the prescriber. Name, surname, collegiate number, address, signature and stamp are the data that must appear on the prescription about the health professional who prescribed the prescription.

Finally, the prescription is validated by including the date on which the prescription is filled, the dispensing date, and the date on which the treatment begins.



For special inquiries:        [email protected]