Tuesday, 2 May 2017

The pharmacist is as important as the doctor

Soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's push for generic drugs, the medical council of India (MCI) sent a circular to health officials across all states to ensure that doctors are following the guidelines that were updated over a year ago. MCI mandates that doctors must write a prescription using generic names of drugs but a chat with even a handful of pharmacists will reveal that most doctors are not doing so. Less than one-tenth of a prescription a pharmacist gets is written using generic names. Mumbai has three Jan Aushadhi shops that sell over 600 drugs at rates that are one-tenth the cost of branded medicines but neither are many patients aware of the difference between a generic and a branded drug, nor are these drugs in supply every time there is a demand. So the onus then falls on the pharmacist who is being largely ignored in the entire scheme of things. The doctor might prescribe a generic drug but there are several companies manufacturing generics - each with a difference price structure. What a customer does not know is that the pharmacist gets up to 60 per cent margin on several generic drugs and hence it is important to educate as well as regulate the neighbourhood pharmacist who gets as many queries from a patient as a doctor would get.

Source: DNA-25th April,2017