New Drug Policy yet to take off
4 Months On, Government Fails To Constitute Panel
Jammu, June 4: The much hyped drug policy announced by the state government early this year has become a casualty allegedly at the hands of a strong doctor-drug mafia nexus operating in the state.
While the government has failed to implement its own policy approved by State Cabinet on January 13, 2012, highly influential drug mafia is said to be using every means to scuttle the government move, sources said.
They said as the government has failed to constitute the mandatory State Drug Committee (SDC) even after a lapse of more than four months, majority of doctors are prescribing medicines under trademark instead of salt name as envisaged in the policy. Sources said that the state government has succumbed to the pressure of strong nexus of doctors and spurious drug suppliers in the state, which has been creating hurdles in the implementation of the policy.
“As per the drug policy the department of Health and Medical Education had to appoint an expert panel - the State Drug Committee, which would be responsible for preparing the essential drug list for the public sector and subsequently update the same every two years,” sources said, adding that no such committee has been constituted so far by the government.
They further stated that the main objective of drug policy was to provide affordable medicines to all by introducing generic medicines to replace the trade mark medicines. “As per the drug policy it has been made mandatory for every doctor to prescribe salts of medicines instead of their trade names, but majority of doctors are still prescribing the trade mark names in blatant violation of the policy,” they said.
A doctor posted at district hospital Kathua stated that they have not received any official communication about the drug policy. “In Government Medical College Hospitals, only a few medicines are being given to patients free of cost, while others are to be purchased by patients from the open market and doctors are continuing with the practice of prescribing the trademark names instead of salts,” a doctor at GMC Jammu said.
The drug policy has approved only 350 essential drugs but in absence of any enforcing authority there is rampant sale of hundreds of drugs in open market which are not included in the prescribed list.
They further said that the drug policy was to control the sale of spurious drugs and laid down certain guidelines to promote good prescribing and dispensing practices besides rational use of drugs in the public and private sectors, but so far nothing has been done in this regard.
State Health Minister Sham Lal Sharma said that they were trying to implement the drug policy in a phased manner. “The purchase committee of Health department is purchasing essential drugs for hospital supply as per drug policy, while the State Drug Committee would be constituted soon,” he said.
While acknowledging the hurdles being created by nexus of doctors and pharmaceutical companies in the implementation of the policy, Sharma said that many doctors were still prescribing the names of trademark medicines instead of salts.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 4 Jun 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 4 Jun 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 5 Jun 2012 00:00:00 IST
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