As many as 48% of stroke patients being referred to AIIMS are found to have been prescribed useless, expensive drugs at the hospitals where they have come from, says a random audit of 250 prescriptions.
The audit, done by the department of neurology at AIIMS and to be presented at the 8th World Stroke Congress in Brazil next week, shows neuro-protective drugs (relating to nerves) such as Citicolen and Piratetam were being prescribed even though they were banned by Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology, the official journal of the Indian Academy of Neurology.
"These drugs are not banned by the government because they are not harmful, but they are useless and expensive. Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology has guidelines that clearly state the futility of these drugs but clinicians continue to prescribe them," said Dr Kameshwar Prasad, professor at the department of neurology at AIIMS, who has a prescription with 32 drugs, of which 60% are not needed.
"Since there is ample evidence in medical literature to show that these drugs do not improve the condition of a neurological patient, AIIMS has banned them from being prescribed," he said.
The prescriptions showed that other critical medicines - such as blood pressure-lowering drugs and blood-thinning aspirin - were not being prescribed, the study said.