Kannur: The health department has allowed medical shops to provide medicines according to the prescription sent by doctors through WhatsApp. The government has decided to arrange a coordinated facility for the same as part of the e-health programme.

The prescription should be written in the doctor’s letter pad which contains his/her register number. The photo of this prescription should be sent via WhatsApp. As an initial step of the programme, a group of doctors and medical shops should be formed.

After consulting the patients, the photo of prescription can be sent through WhatsApp to the medical shop preferred by the patient. The prescription can also be sent to the mobile phone of the patient.

Patients can take a print out of the message. They can buy the medicines from medical shops using this message. At the same time, the doctor should send the prescription to the email id of the medical shop also.

However, medicines like Viagra, psychotropic drugs, abortion pills, sleeping pills etc. cannot be prescribed through this method. The new system is part of the e-health programme implemented by the government in 2017 and not part of the e-pharmacy programme, said Ravi S. Menon, the state drug controller.