The Prime Minister’s push to generic medicines has received overwhelming support from the medical fraternity, but in the store of premier medical institute AIIMS only 230 such drugs are available. In a letter to the director of the institute, the Resident Doctors Association (RDA) of AIIMS said 53 most- prescribed drugs by the hospital’s doctors are not available in the store and despite repeated reminders, no efforts have been made to procure these.
The RDA recently had also held a meeting with the in- charge of the Free Generic Medicines store over this issue. A list of generic medicines available has been prepared, which should be circulated in each department, the RDA said, adding each department should improve the list of generic drugs and update it accordingly. “We realised that only one-sixth of patients are availing this service (getting generic medicines free of charge) so we have to make efforts to promote generic medicines,” RDA president Dr Vijay Gurjar said in the letter.
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The resident doctors’ body also recommended opening of more outlets on the institute premises to make generic drugs available free of charge to patients, many of whom are not being able to avail this service due to overcrowding. “Most importantly, the quality of these medicines should be ensured so that we (doctors) can prescribe those without fear. Please look into this matter urgently so that we can deliver the benefits of government schemes to the very last patient in the queue,” the RDA said in the letter.
The Medical Council of India, the apex medical regulator in the country, has warned doctors of action if they fail to adhere to its guideline on prescribing drugs in generic names. The directive came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke of putting in place a legal framework to ensure that doctors prescribe low-cost generic medicines to patients.