Kerala: Doctors fail to prescribe generic pills for patients

It is alleged that in most government hospitals doctors are not complying with generic medicine prescription.

Thiruvananthapuram: Despite repeated circulars and orders from the government, generic medicine prescription is yet to be implemented effectively in the government hospitals and medical college hospitals across the state.

It is alleged that in most government hospitals doctors are not complying with generic medicine prescription. Expensive medicines were being prescribed when cheaper drugs with same formulations are available under generic medicine scheme.

Though the health department attempted to streamline the mechanism by carrying out “prescription audit” in all government hospitals to make sure that doctors prescribed the generic medicine, it has failed to make much difference.

One of the major problems being faced by the doctors is the heavy patient load in government hospitals. On an average a doctor examines 200-300 and at times even 500 patients in OP. “We manage to spend just one to two minutes on each patient. It will be difficult to cater to all patients if doctors start writing generic prescriptions. Ideally we should be able to spend 7 to 10 minutes on each patient if we were to get his proper history, proper examination and prescription of medicines,” said KGMOA state secretary K.A. Raoof.

He said the problem was more serious in departments like orthopaedics, obstetrics and gynaecology, surgery and some of the other specialties. Non availability of all drugs on the Essential Drugs List is also one of the major problems.

The government medical college hospitals also have not been able to strictly follow generic prescription. There is a need to put in place an effective Essential Drugs List (EDL) and Rationalized Drugs List (RDL).

The Central government through Jan Aushidhi schemes is trying to check sale of medicines under their brand names. Experts say two initiatives in the future
would be effective in implementing the generic dispensing in government hospitals.

The Centre is bringing new pharma policy which will make it mandatory for doctors to prescribe generic medicines. In the state level, the government is implementing E Health project as part of Ardram mission under which it will be convenient for doctors to prescribe generic medicines.” Doctors will not have to go through the entire essential and rationalised drugs list. Generic names will be just a mouse click away,” said a doctor.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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