Hyderabad: Community health workers, nurses, auxiliary nurses, midwives and volunteers at the wellness centres can prescribe antacids, aspirin, analgesic balms, anti-malaria drugs and a few others such in the amendment to the rules issued by the ministry of health and family welfare. This has made pharmacists angry as they find themselves being pushed aside in the medical system rather than being included.
The removal of Schedule K drugs from the prescription list is being seen as a first step to remove many other ‘classified drugs’ from the list.
A list of highly abused over-the-counter drugs is being prepared by the department of pharmaceutical. The list will be ready within the next 45 days according to sources.
There is rampant abuse, misuse and overuse of medicinal drugs in the country. To add to this, inability of the drug controllers to maintain strict vigilance has created a situation where large-scale antibiotic resistance is being noted during the treatment process.
The job of the pharmacist is to dispense the right medicine and report if there is an adverse outcome. Qualified pharmacists have found very minimal acceptance and it is only the corporate retail stores who are appointing them.
The traditional stores are still operated by businessmen only.
Dr A. Sanjay Reddy, member of the Telangana State Pharmacy Council, explained, “There are more deaths due to misuse of prescription drugs than due to illegal drugs. There are complications due to overdose of prescription drugs. People have failed to understand that what is prescribed for 15 days is only for 15 days and not once in a while or lifelong. When we are facing these challenges is it right to have healthcare workers who have minimal knowledge prescribe these drugs?”
Pharmacists have to study for six years and obtain a licence to practice. But a community health worker is given only training and knowledge in care-giving. Dr Sai Kumar Katam, national president of Doctor of Pharmacy Association, says, “Safety and efficacy of allopathic drugs is a cause of concern. Due to the bacteria getting resistant to antibiotics, there is a major challenge in treating diseases. The government is making common people vulnerable instead of improving the dispensation and vigilance mechanism.”
These objections are being sent to the health ministry....