DAK faction threatens stir over proposed drug policy

DAK faction threatens stir over proposed drug policy

Nayeem Rather

Srinagar: A faction of Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) Wednesday threatened to launch an agitation if government went ahead with its plans of implementing the new drug policy.
Addressing a press conference, DAK members demanded that the policy should be implemented only after taking all stake holders on board.
“The order in its present is detrimental to the patients as it gives the entire right to a chemist to decide the quality of the medicine for the patient” Spokesman DAK Dr. Mir Mushtaq.
He further said that DAK firmly supported effective drug policy but not an isolated order that was “penny wise and pound foolish”. “We will come out on roads if government did not change its decision within a month,” Mushtaq threatened.
Dr. Rashid Para, a member of DAK, said that there was no standard treatment regimens/protocols (STR/STP) by expert members of different specialties in place that could recommend the government the list of essential drugs that has to be procured from generics and kept available in each hospital. He further said that the government must ensure that the generic drugs be readily available in the hospitals at cheaper rates and of standard quality.
“No such measures are yet in place. There are many brands from many reputed houses which are much cheaper than generics of many divisions. How can one justify the prescription of such drugs is not in the interest of the patient” he added.
Dr. G M Mir, member working committee DAK, feared that the chemist will sell the drug on generic prescription that has more margins for profit and those which has surplus bonus schemes. “The order gives him legal cover not to sell a brand even if it is cheaper thus depriving the benefit to the patient” Mir told Kashmir reader.
The DAK also said that the drug policy will cut the connection between the medical representative and the doctor, which can be “harmful for the health sector”.
“The MR does not only sell the drugs to the doctors, they also provide the research literature to doctors that keep the doctors informed about the new developments about the medical practices. This becomes important keeping in view that the government has no budget for research” said Dr. Para.
The new drug policy makes it mandatory for doctors to prescribe medicines on the basis of generic name and not the brand name of a pharmaceutical company.