Pregnancy plus - will future mothers get free drugs?

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For over a month, expectant mothers have been waiting for information whether the law on the right to free medicines for pregnant women will be implemented. The act of April 16, 2020 amending the act on health care services financed from public funds and some other acts is currently awaiting the signature of the president. How would the Pregnancy Plus program apply? Check!

Pregnancy plus - formal issues

The law on free drugs for pregnant women will be signed by the president from April 16. According to the assumptions, it would enter into force on July 1, 2020.

Originally, as the name suggests, the act referred to the provision of free medicines to pregnant women. The Senate did propose amendments to the act when it was still at the draft stage, which, inter alia, assumed the possibility of extending this right also to women in the puerperium, but this amendment was rejected by the Sejm.

How do I get a prescription for free drugs?

The right to take advantage of the entitlement to free medications under the Pregnancy Plus relief will be granted to a woman who is diagnosed with pregnancy by:

  • gynecologist / obstetrician or
  • a doctor who specializes in obstetrics and gynecology or
  • a primary health care midwife or a specialist in outpatient specialist care in an obstetric and gynecological clinic.

These individuals will have the right to prescribe pregnant women with the drug allowance described. It will also be possible to obtain a certificate from such a specialist, on the basis of which another doctor will be entitled to prescribe free medicines. In principle, such a certificate will be legally binding during pregnancy, but not longer than 15 days after the date of the planned birth.

Pregnancy plus what drugs will guarantee?

Pursuant to the provisions of the act, the minister competent for health is obliged to provide a list of free medicines for pregnant women within a maximum of 4 months from the date of entry into force of the act. The list will include a list of medications available to pregnant women upon presentation of a prescription at the pharmacy. Importantly, the provisions of the act make it possible to limit the list of drugs reimbursed by the National Health Fund during a given calendar year in the event that in the first half of a given year, 60% of the spending limit for a given year is exceeded.

A pregnant woman should obtain all relevant information on medications and available substitutes at any pharmacy. The person issuing the prescription has the right to stipulate that a given drug cannot be replaced by substitutes.

When can you expect the law to be signed by the president? Hard to say. Pregnant women need such support as soon as possible, especially now that drug prices are rising due to the pandemic.