Amid PAC, doctors not prescribing generic medicines to patients in J&K hospitals

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Doctor-private clinic nexus still active in J&K: Patients, attendants

Jahangeer Ganaie

Srinagar, Jan 23: Despite constitution of divisional level Prescriptions Audit Committee (PAC), doctors in several hospitals of Jammu and Kashmir aren’t prescribing generic medicines to patients available at the hospital.

Health officials on condition of anonymity told news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), that doctors at various hospitals are not prescribing generic medicines to the patients so as to give benefit to private clinics and to give their percentage as well.

They said directions given doctors to mention, unit/department name on the prescription is also thrown to the winds so that identity of doctors not prescribing generic medicines won’t get disclosed.

Meanwhile, attendants as well as patients talking to KNO said that the nexus between doctors and private clinics is still active and in order to get benefit doctors are prescribing costly drugs and unnecessary diagnostic tests.

“Unnecessary diagnostic tests/procedures are prescribed and patients are referred to the private clinics/specialists without requirement,” they said.

They added that despite the availability of generic drugs at the hospital, doctors are prescribing costly drugs which are not available at the hospital stores so that patients can get them from private clinics and the doctor will get his share.

A health official acknowledged that drugs are prescribed in contravention to the provisions of Drugs & Cosmetic Act & Regularizations.

He said that the government has already taken a serious note of it and recommendations, highlighting actionable points will be sought from concerned authorities in this regard so that this practice can be stopped fully.

“The prescription Audit report submitted by the Nodal Officer has raised serious issues regarding prescription of patients where doctors are not writing Generic drugs and does not mention the name, unit/department on the prescription.” Medical Superintendent Associated Hospital GMC Anantnag has recently written to all doctors of the hospital.

“Accordingly it is once again intimated to prescribe Generic Drugs for which Jan Aushadhi Kendra and AMRIT Stores are already functional in the hospital so that patients will be benefitted and make proper signatures, write full name and unit/department on each and every prescription.” It reads further.

Notably, Directorate of Health Service Kashmir last year ordered for constitution of divisional level Prescriptions Audit Committee (PAC) and asked Chief Medical Officers and Medical Superintendents to nominate one Nodal Officer besides constituting similar committees at district level.

DHSK had also asked all the CMOs and Medical Superintendents to nominate one Nodal Officer for each district and sub-district hospital and shall collect photocopies of at least 1 percent of prescriptions by doctors in OPDs on a random basis.

CMOs were also asked to constitute district-level PAC comprising doctors on administrative posts, excluding consultants.

“These prescriptions collected by the Nodal Officer shall be scrutinized by PAC whether the prescriptions are written in capital letters with the name of doctor, signature and registration number besides that generic drugs are prescribed and preference is given to the drugs, which are available free in hospital supplies,” DHSK had directed—(KNO)