Living in Greece

A practical guide to moving, living, working & traveling in Greece, plus musing and misadventures from an American in Athens

Electronic prescriptions in Greece

Screen capture from

The Οργανισμός Ασφάλισης Ελεύθερων Επαγγελματιών (OAEE), or Insurance Agency for the Self-Employed, began nationwide implementation of electronic prescriptions in Greece, with the aim of reducing fraudulent prescriptions, modernizing processes, improving transparency and saving up to €1.1 billion a year.

OAEE, formerly known as TEBE, was selected to test-drive the system from October 18, 2010 because it issues the fewest prescriptions a year at 3 million, compared with OGA at 16 million and IKA with 25 million. In a mere 30 days, there was a 46 percent drop in expenditures, and the average cost of a prescription decreased by nearly half after 60 days, which indicates the system is working as intended.

OGA started e-prescriptions June 1, 2011 , IKA on September 15, 2011; and EOPYY doctors nationwide by September 2012.

All funds were scheduled to switch to e-prescriptions by May 1, 2011, with full integration at state hospitals by January 1, 2012. In reality, it will take several years before it is fully implemented due to lack of technology, mandatory checks and fraud.

*Article last updated June 15, 2014. However, there are updates pending for this post.

How does it work?

According to, all pharmacies and OAEE doctors must register with the website. Doctors located in rural areas without Internet access, and prescriptions issued on an emergency basis, during a blackout or for vaccines and high-cost medicines only filled at public hospital pharmacies, can still be handwritten but must eventually be entered into the system by the pharmacist.

An OAEE-insured person in need of a prescription visits his/her authorized doctor, as usual. The doctor logs onto the website, enters the prescription(s), which can then be picked up at a pharmacist registered with The pharmacist scans the medication as evidence he/she filled the prescription with the proper drug and dosage.

At the end of the month, the pharmacist sends a statement or invoice for reimbursement.

*See oriste’s first-hand experience in ‘Comments.’

As the insured, what will I need?

1. An AMKA
— If you do not have an AMKA, go to “AMKA: Greek social security number” and follow the instructions.

2. Greek ID or passport from any country
— The spelling of your name should match your AMKA file

3. Contact information, such as phone number and address

4. Health booklet/Το βιβλιάριο υγείας for handwritten prescriptions

As I understand, insured persons will eventually be granted online access to e-prescription data, but for the time being only physicians and pharmacists are allowed during the test phase.

What if the pharmacist cannot fill the prescription?

The patient has the option to find another pharmacy, or the pharmacist will be required to call the doctor to cancel the original request and authorize a substitute.

By law, a pharmacist cannot interpret a patient’s needs and must follow the doctor’s prescription as written. People have complained that this inconveniences patients, as some will need to wait over the weekend, but it’s done for safety reasons.

What if my needs change?

Prescriptions can be edited, deleted or refilled according to a patient’s condition and needs. If you are allergic to the medication or need your prescription modified, you must contact the doctor.

Your medical and pharmaceutical history cannot be accessed by pharmacists, but all doctors can view a patient’s pharmaceutical history to make medically informed decisions and prevent fraudulent prescriptions.

By law, prescriptions should only be written for up to 30 days and up to 60 days for chronic illness/disease, then renewed after review.

Contact information


Only offered in Greek, some users have already reported technical issues and a problematic interface.


Ηλεκτρονική Διακυβέρνηση Κοινωνικής Ασφάλισης (ΗΔΙΚΑ)/Social Insurance E-Governance (IDIKA)
Ministry of Labor and Social Security
24-Hour Help line: 11131

Pharmacists and OAEE doctors must register

If you need to register or are curious about the system, take a look at a video demonstration in Greek:


In the News

Doctors prescribing drugs to dead people & collecting money” — Ta Nea
“Greece can save 5 billion by implementing new IT” — WSJ
Prescription drugs found dumped in suspected scam” — Kathimerini
OAEE prescription costs down 50% in first 20 days of program” — Ta Nea
Large caches of illegal prescriptions found across Greece” — Kathimerini
Unemployed women in Greece targeted by prescription scam” — Ta Nea
Middlemen skim money from prescription delivery” — Eleftherotypia
“IKA Heraklion finds fraudulent prescriptions to dead people” — To Vima
Thessaloniki nursing home collected IKA money with false claims on expensive drugs and equipment” — Ta Nea
Scams by doctors, pharmacists and insured” — Imerisia
Συνταγές μόνο για 30 μέρες” — Eleftherotypia
All funds in Greece to convert to e-prescriptions by May 1” — SKAI
“Labour ministry unveils electronic prescription system” — ANA-MPA
Full implementation of electronic prescriptions” — Eleftherotypia
Καθυστερεί η ηλεκτρονική συνταγογράφηση” — Kathimerini
Doctors prescribe to deceased and collect money” — To Vima


Το Σεπτέμβριο ηλεκτρονική συνταγογράφηση στο ΙΚΑ” — Eleftherotypia
Οδηγός για την e-συνταγογράφηση” — Ta Nea
Αλαλούμ στο σύστημα συνταγογράφησης ΟΑΕΕ” — Eleftherotypia
Συχνές Ερωτήσεις” —
Από κόσκινο συνταγές, παροχές” — Ta Nea
Αντιδράσεις στην ηλεκτρονική συνταγογράφηση” — To Vima
Η ηλεκτρονική συνταγογράφηση έριξε τη μέση συνταγή από 80 σε 48 €” — Eleftherotypia
Ξεκίνησε η ηλεκτρονική συνταγογράφηση ιατρών συμβεβλημένων με τον ΟΓΑ” — Kathimerini
Police bust Greek doctors writing prescriptions to deceased” — AMNA

Related posts

How to register with OAEE/TEBE
How to get prescription medicine through IKA
Ηλεκτρονικά ήδη το 19% των συνταγών” — To Vima

Updates pending
1 billion in prescriptions go in garbage because of fraud or prescription of unnecessary drugs; says that 3.5 million CAT scans are done in GR, twice the number of any EU country.
11 doctors requested to explain why they wrote 500 prescriptions a month


  Eli wrote @ October 19th, 2010 at 09:34

No surprise that OAEE have fewest prescriptions per year…self-employed people don’t have time to indulge their hypochondriac tendencies.

Kat Reply:

True, we — at least, the honest (foolish) people — are too busy waiting in line at the eforia. 😉 In 12 years, I’ve only had one prescription written.

  oriste wrote @ October 28th, 2010 at 17:58

I’m covered by OAEE and needing medication now. My cardiologist has already explained that the next prescription renewal will be done over this system. My pharmacist (“my” being a big word, I just made her acquaintance) seems enthusiastic about the system. She’s young. Will keep you up to date in about a month.

Kat Reply:

Excellent, looking forward to hearing your experience and her feedback. Thank goodness, you’re fine!

  oriste wrote @ January 27th, 2011 at 09:31

Good thing I caught your tweet this morning which led me to this article again. I had completely forgotten to give you my feedback.

In the meantime I’ve had 3 additional prescription renewals from my cardiologist, the first 2 in “electronic” form, the last one in paper form again (the booklet).

The reason I write “electronic” in quotes is that it seems like a funny process from my perspective. First the prescribing doctor fills out some data on his computer (not visible to me, so I have no details), at great pains in the case of my cardiologist who is clearly not used to a computer, with 3 medications at the time. Those 3 medications are then printed out on regular A4 paper, occupying exactly half of the available space on the paper. The process of filling out and printing repeats itself for the next 3 medications, and the next, etc. It appears to me that someone has tried to simulate the book form as closely as possible, which from an information re-engineering point of view is utterly ridiculous. What totally escapes me in the first place however, is why these papers need to be printed. Just the patient’s AMKA number would be sufficient to link prescribing doctor and pharmacy and get rid of all the paper. Τέλος πάντων.

The patient then takes the printed A4 papers to the pharmacy where the medications on the printed form are checked against a computer screen (again not visible to me, so no details). The pharmacy still hands you a ticket for the lumpsum of the amount due for the medications, not an itemized list.

The last time I went for my prescription (10 days ago), the system wasn’t working and my cardiologist had to use the booklet. He had no explanation for why the system wasn’t working or for how long.

Right! I just went to check on and saw that there was an announcement for the suspension of the system in the week that I went to my cardiologist. Also tried to register at that site, but so far only physicians and pharmacies are allowed in.

So far, so …?

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