Doctors Shut Down 18,000 Clinics(The Korea Times)

Sounds like it might mean the end of kickbacks from pharmaceutical companies...

Doctors Shut Down 18,000 Clinics(The Korea Times): "Nearly 18,000 medical clinics across the country closed doors to protest the government’s new prescription plan, Friday afternoon. The Korean Medical Association (KMA) plans to stage further rallies amid the government’s decision to implement the new measure from Sept. 17 on a trial basis. The Ministry of Health and Welfare announced that it will require medical doctors to prescribe the actual chemical agent, instead of specific drug names as they currently do. Under the new system, the authority to decide on the brand of prescribed medicine will be transferred from doctors to pharmacists. The ministry initiated the plan, which allows patients to choose a generic drug, with the same effects at a cheaper price to save medical fees. Also, the new system enables patients to get medicines easily at any pharmacy. Currently, patients usually have to purchase medicines at the pharmacies near clinics which carry specific drug brands prescribed by doctors at those clinics. However, the doctors’ group advocates that they cannot trust pharmacists’ abilities to dispense the correct dosage of medicines. They claim that the responsibility to prescribe drugs should belong to doctors. Otherwise, it could result in serious side effects because generic drugs are not always reliable."

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