The Legal Problems of Pharmacists Practicing Traditional Chinese Medicines Dispensing and the Health Insurance Payment System
Dispensing is a medical behavior, and according to the law pharmacists who conduct dispensing Traditional Chinese Medicines (TCM) should received the training of TCM to meet appropriate standards. Dispensing TCM by pharmacists is often criticized by the Chinese medicine industry due to the insufficient proportion of Chinese material medica in the pharmacy education courses and the examination system for pharmacists. And the National Health Insurance even failed to pay the cost of TCM dispensing for contracted pharmacies. As the outpatient payment system of National Health Insurance hospital outpatient payment system is different for the Western medicine and Chinese medicine. Dispensing TCM is not paid at the medical level bonus, and the payment standards are also far lower than the Western medicine. This circumstance conflicts with the principles of equal payment for same nature of illness and the relative points shall reflect the cost of each medical service. It is recommended to carefully evaluate the six-year pharmacy education to be fully integrated with the clinical treatment of TCM, and the overall planning examination and follow-up practice of continuing education to be comprehensively planned. Operating standards of compounding TCM for community pharmacies and clinics should be established and properly and the National Health Insurance payment system for TCM should be schemed properly and reasonably.