A fifth of Dutch GP's give poor patients leftover medicine for free: report

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Pills (Photo: MorgueFile / Wikimedia Commons). Pills (Photo: MorgueFile / Wikimedia Commons)

Some 20 percent of Dutch GP's sometimes give free medicine to patients who can not afford the high cost of healthcare, according to a survey AD did among 300 doctors and nearly 400 pharmacists. This usually involves medicine that was leftover from another patient and was supposed to be destroyed. 

Doctors are not officially allowed to give away this type of medicine. But it does happen fairly regularly because doctors are increasingly faced with patients who can't afford to buy their own, the association of GP practices VPH and pharmacist organization KNMP said to the newspaper. According to the associations, the 385 euros deductible is too high for these patients. 

The study revealed that people often forego treatment due to the high costs. Most often avoided are physical therapy, medication, blood tests and visits to a specialist. A massive 90 percent of GP's have seen this happen, according to the newspaper. And 8 out of 10 pharmacists have medicines in their stores that were prescribed by doctors, but never collected. 

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