Health ministry is likely to issue a gazette notification directing doctors to write prescriptions in block letters to avoid medication mistakes that add to patients' woes and can cause deaths at times.
Sloppy writing in prescriptions is a perennial subject of jokes, but a 2006 study by US-based Institute of Medicine said 7,000 people were killed every year due to medication mistakes largely caused by doctors' illegible writing.
Therefore, a couple of months ago, the Medical Council of India recommended to the ministry of health to make it binding on doctors that they use block letters when writing names and dosage of drugs.
Dr Jayshreeben Mehta, president MCI, said the ministry would soon issue a gazette notification to this effect.
An MCI official said the recommendation was sent to the ministry keeping in mind the problems of drug store owners, pharmacists, attendants of patient and nurses.
Dr AK Singh, president of Jharkhand chapter of Indian Medical Association, said, "Initially, doctors would have to spend more time on writing prescriptions, but they would get used to it."
Bihar IMA state president Dr Rajiv Ranjan Prasad said writing prescriptions in capital letters is already a part of medical college curriculum and its strict implementation would benefit both patients and chemists.