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WHO report puts doctors in the dock.

DOCTORS working with private healthcare facilities may need to learn prescription lessons once again as they not only fail to write proper prescriptions, but also don't prescribe even half the number of medicines from the World Health Organisation's essential medicine list ( EML).

This was revealed in a survey conducted by the Department of Pharmacology, Maulana Azad Medical College ( MAMC), Delhi Society for Promotion of Rational Use of Drugs, and Department of ENT, Lok Nayak Hospital, in association with the Department of Biostatistics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences ( AIIMS).

The WHO has encouraged countries to adopt a list of essential medicines which offers many advantages such as increasing availability of medicines and decreasing costs. It is also easier to be better informed about a restricted list of medicines.

Hence, greater use of the EML aids in rational use of medicines.

" We wanted to assess prescribing pattern and compliance of medicines prescribed and sold in the private health facilities with the EML," Dr Vandana Roy, from MAMC said.

At least 27 pharmacies were selected and the number of prescriptions obtained was 823 with at least 2,164 medicines prescribed.

" Anti- microbials were prescribed the most ( 19.6 per cent), followed by analgesics, anti- inflammatory, anti- pyretics ( 15.5 per cent), and tonics ( 11.55 per cent). The number of medicines from the EML, among the top 50 selling medicines in the country ranged from 42 per cent to 44 per cent for national and 42 per cent to 48 per cent for Delhi State EML over three years... Majority of prescriptions were incompletely written which could be due to lack of training or unawareness about its importance," Dr Roy said.

The survey report has also said there appears to be excessive use of Fixed Dose Combinations, which are not recommended, unless they are of proven efficacy and rationality.


Doctors are not prescribing even half the essential medicines from the WHO's essential medicine list ( EML). There is inappropriate availability of medicines in public and private healthcare facilities in Delhi. According to a survey funded by WHO SEARO Delhi office, while some medicines are freely available, some are not available. The study was conducted by the Department of Pharmacology, V. P. Chest Institute in association with Director General Health Services ( Central govt), Directorate Health Services ( GNCT, Delhi) and the MCD.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Jan 6, 2014
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