Tribune News Service
Patiala, November 20
The alleged nexus between government doctors and private chemist shops has once again come to the fore at Government Mata Kaushalya Hospital. Ignoring the guidelines of the state government once again, a government doctor was allegedly caught prescribing medicines with brand names, instead of a generic name.
A senior paediatrician, employed under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), was caught red-handed, prescribing medicines with brand names to the poor patients. The medicines, worth Rs 800, prescribed by the doctor, were not available at the hospital and Jan Aushadhi centre. But, ironically, the said medicines were said to have been available at a ‘specific’ chemist shop only — outside the hospital.
The experts said as per the prevailing modus operandi of the said nexus, doctors prescribe costly medicines to the patients owing to their alliance with pharmaceutical companies. It is the poor patients who have to bear the brunt of the expensive medicines prescribed by these doctors.
Surprisingly, the medicines prescribed by the doctor in question could not be read by the pharmacist at the hospital and Patiala Civil Surgeon himself. However, the chemist, immediately, understood the said medicine.
A large chunk of patients at the Mata Kuashalya Hospital come from rural areas. A majority of them are poverty-stricken and cannot afford the medicines of popular brand names often sold at exorbitant prices. The patients at the hospital claimed that substitute salts of the said medicines prescribed by the doctors were cost-effective and free at the hospital pharmacy.
The Health Department should resolve to act proactively to ensure that patients are not fleeced and they do not fall prey to money-making marketing practices of drug firms; said one of the activists.
In the meanwhile, Medical Superintendent, Mata Kaushalya, Dr Renu, said, “The said doctor comes under Patiala Civil Surgeon, and we have already written to him (Civil Surgeon) to shift the said doctor- immediately.”
Patiala Civil Surgeon Dr Harish Malhotra, said, “I have already written to the MD, NRHM, to take action. No doctor is allowed to write brand names of the medicines.”
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