Srinagar: Following an order by the Director General of Health Services (DGHS), India, the Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Soura today issued an order extending the ban on prescription of branded medicines at the Institute. Simultaneously, it also issued directions to bar the visits of representatives from Pharma companies to the premises of the hospital.
Medical Superintended SKIMS Soura issued an order to all HoDs of the hospital to prescribe generic drugs only. The order reads “ It has been conveyed by DHGS, GoI and endorsed by Director SKIMS and ex-officio Secretary to Government, that all medications prescribed in the Government hospitals should be generic medicines only and not in any case branded medicines”. The order has also reiterated that visits of medical representatives to the Government Hospitals’ premises are completely curtailed. Communication about the new launches (of drugs by pharma companies) must be sent via email only, the MS SKIMS, Dr Farooq Jan has said.
While speaking to Greater Kashmir, Dr Farooq Jan said that the ban on prescription of branded drugs was already in vogue and the order ‘reiterated the communication by DGHS’. He said the ban was imposed on prescription of branded drugs for patients admitted to the hospital and would not affect those seeking treatment on OPD basis. “In-patients are covered by Ayushman Bharat Scheme and for the scheme, it is important that generic drugs are prescribed,” he said. He further said that such drugs were available and provided to patients in the Institute.
This year in May, the DGHS issued an order for reinforcement of a ban on prescription of branded medicines in Central Government run hospitals and those under Central Government Health Schemes. The order clearly instructed all the doctors working in such hospitals to prescribe only generic drugs. The DGHS observed that despite earlier instructions on promoting generic drugs for the benefit of people, doctors have been violating and prescribing branded drugs. “Such activities may be noted by all heads of institutions, and they may ensure strict compliance by the doctors working under them” it said.
In 2017, J&K Government had ordered that doctors in Government hospitals prescribe only generic medicines as part of Jammu & Kashmir Drug Policy. The order saw poor implementation, primarily due to non-availability of such medicines.