Govt doctors warned of action for not prescribing generic drugs
Srinagar, Aug 03: Doctors working in government hospitals have been warned of strict action in case they prescribe non-generic drugs. Authorities have taken a note that “fake and substandard” drugs were in sale across the valley and were being prescribed by the doctors without any “hesitation and shame”. Director General Health Services Kashmir has written to chief medical officers, block medical officers, and medical superintendents of hospitals that this was “causing serious health hazards and problems” to the patients and has been viewed “very seriously” by the government. “It has been frequently directed to all the field doctors to prescribe generic drugs only as per the circulars and instructions issued by government from time to time but it has been reported that the doctors in different government health institutions as well as private hospitals are not prescribing genetic drugs as they are acting in connivance with drug mafia and companies and are prescribing brand name drugs,” a recent official communiqué of Director General Health Services, reads. It says that any doctor found prescribing any such drug shall be deemed to be involved in “illegal sale and supply of non-generic drugs” “Strict disciplinary action shall be initiated against the erring doctors as well as the concerned CMOs, BMOs and MS. It is further impressed upon all the doctors to prescribe the generic drugs only and any default on this account shall invoke strict disciplinary action, which may include termination from services,” it reads. Generic drugs are cheaper as their manufacturers do not spend on repeated clinical trials to prove their safety and efficacy. They also desist from extensive advertisement campaigns. The Medical Council of India (MCI), the statutory body that registers doctors to ensure proper standards of medical practice has issued directives several times, asking doctors to prescribe generic drugs, failing which strict disciplinary action will be taken. An official of Health Department said government has been receiving complaints that many doctors were continuing to prescribe “expensive branded drugs” preventing access to cheaper medicines for the poor. “Government has taken a serious note to curb on drug mafia,” the official said. Official figures reveal that there has been an increase in the sale of sub-standard drugs. In 2017, the Drugs and Food Control Organisation declared over 59 drug samples substandard in the state, subsequently prohibiting their sale and consumption.