Chemists likely to exploit patients under new directive: PGI docs

  • Vishav Bharti, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Jul 25, 2014 11:15 IST

Hitting back on the recent Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) decision of allowing chemists to substitute medicines prescribed by doctors, the Faculty Association, an elected body, of the institute has claimed that move would virtually provide a licence to chemists to rob patients.

President of the elected body Dr Virendra Singh alleged that that the decision was not in the favour of patients, but would end up serving the chemists.

He said that the PGI administration with help of institute’s pharmacology department should come out with a list of cheap and the best available medicines and these should be prescribed to the patients.

“The decision to allow chemists to substitute medicines prescribed by the doctors can at best be called a job half done. It will lead to more fleecing of patients as chemists will also sell the more expensive of the generic versions. There are many honest doctors still,” he said.

The PGIMER Faculty Association will also discuss this issue in its general or executive body meeting and will write to the institute administration to come out with an alternative which will serve the public, not chemists.

Dr Singh said that the faculty association of the PGIMER has always stood for prescribing affordable medicines.

“There may be some black sheep, but we condemn if there is any such nexus. It goes against medical ethics,” he said.

To break the doctor-pharmaceutical company nexus, the PGI administration has recently started putting a stamp on all the Outdoor Patient Department (OPD) registration-cum-prescription cards, saying that ‘Supply the following drugs or equivalent generic drugs’. It means that the neither the patient nor the chemist is bound to consume the brand of drugs that a doctor prescribes.

The decision seems to have changed the equation between the doctors and the chemists too, who now feel a little more bold in going against the doctor’s prescription and selling lowerpriced generics.

Previously, chemists used to dread being fined heavily for substituting branded medicines with generic medicines as they could be liable for heavy penalties, if found doing so.

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