Prescribe Generic Drugs: Telangana Govt directs Doctors

Hyderabad: Soon after the National Medical Commission Draft Ethics Regulations encouraged the medical practitioners in the country for prescribing generic medicine to the patients, the Telangana Government has issued similar directions to the doctors in the State.

The doctors in the State have been directed by the Government to prescribe generic medicine to the patients while providing free consultations to the patients, adds Telangana Today.

Therefore, at a review meeting the State Health Minister T Harish Rao has advised the government hospitals to ensure sufficient stock of generic drugs in the dispensaries that would last at least for three months.

In fact, the pharmacists at the government medicine shops have been asked to provide the daily inventory of drugs to the doctors.

Such a direction has been issued by the State when recently the Ethics and Medical Registration Board (EMRB) of NMC issued similar directions to the doctors. Medical Dialogues had earlier reported the National Medical Commission (NMC) in the recently released draft Registered Medical Practitioner (Professional Conduct) Regulations, 2022, stated that the doctors should prescribe medicines with “generic”/”non-proprietary”/”pharmacological” names only.

Also Read: Doctors Should write generic, non-proprietary, pharmacological names only: NMC Prescription Guidelines

The prescription guidelines that form an integral part of the Draft mentioned, “Prescribe only those generic medicines that are available in the market and accessible to the patient.”

Besides noting that “generic”/”non-proprietary”/”pharmacological” names have to be prescribed, the guidelines reiterated the point by again stating that physicians should “Avoid prescribing “branded” generic drugs”. The guidelines however lay down that In the case of drugs with a narrow therapeutic index, biosimilars, and similar other exceptional cases, this practice can be relaxed.

In fact, taking a step further, the Guidelines added that the doctors should “Encourage patients to purchase drugs from Jan Aushadhi kendras and other generic pharmacy outlets” and should “Advocate for hospitals and local pharmacies to stock generic drugs.”

Issuing similar directions to the Telangana-based doctors, Health Minister T Harish Rao was quoted saying by Telangana Today, “To promote usage of generic drugs, government hospitals must build enough stock of generic drugs in their dispensaries that would last for at least three months.” There were instances of some government hospitals having excess stock of drugs while others faced a severe shortage.

“To address such inconstancies, all government dispensaries must be adequately stocked. The pharmacist at the government drug store must provide the daily inventory of drugs to doctors,” the Health Minister further added at the review meeting.

Apart from this, the Health Minister further directed the health officials to ensure that quick and accurate information must be available at the help desks. He also clarified that the blood banks located at the Government medical facilities shall be controlled by the Superintendent of the hospital and not the State AIDS Control Society. Further, referring to the problem of private practice of government doctors, he directed the superintendents to ensure attendance through biometric system.

Earlier this year, the Telangana State Medical Council had issued a similar direction to the doctors. The Council had directed the doctors to follow erstwhile Medical Council of India’s guidelines and mention the generic names of drugs in the prescription.

“Recently Hon’ble Lokayukta has taken suomotto of this issue and called the Registrar, TSMC that what action the Medical Council has taken in this regard. The Registrar has given explanation that the Council has brought to the notice of all doctors associations, private hospitals and Heads of the Govt Medical Departments, Principals of Medical Colleges, Superintendents of all teaching hospitals and District Medical & Health Officers and Superintendents District Head Quarters Hospitals to inform this policy to individual doctors working under their organization,” mentioned Telangana State Medical Council advisory dated 11.01.2022.
“Now recently somebody has filed PIL in the Hon’ble High Court also which is under trial. The Hon’ble Lokayukta also given direction to the Registrar, TSMC to take up this issue seriously and gave verdict that ANY DOCTOR CONTRAVENES, THIS DIRECTION IT AMOUNTS TO ACTING AGAINST THE MCI DIRECTION AND INVITES DISCIPLINARY ACTION,” it had further mentioned.

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