Pharmacists may be allowed to prescribe medicines
Hospitals and Doctors are hushing up Adverse Drug Reaction
New Delhi, September 23: Dr. V.K. Subhuraj, Secretary Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers, on Wednesday called for urgent need to curb the menace of rising Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs), saying there is a tendency to hush up or avoid their reporting to protect the reputation of hospitals and doctors.
Mr. Subhuraj stressed the need for a fool proof system to restrict this tendency as drug manufacturing is poised to register a manifold increase in times to come. He was addressing a conference on Wednesday on the theme, ‘Pharmacology: R&D for Minimizing ADRs and Role of Pharmacists’ under aegis of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He underlined the urgent need to restrict, curb and even eliminate causes leading to adverse drug reactions.
Mr. Subburaj pointed out that in the upcoming decade pharma sector is going to witness a rise in the number of manufacturing units by six times from current level of 12,000 units. He said given the looming scenario, it has become all the more important for India to be more wary of ADRs.
ADRs happen due to multiple reasons as variety of stakeholders are involved in drugs administration and therefore, as speakers stressed, the time has come when India is required to put in a place a sort of regulatory mechanism that can keep an eye to curb the menace of rising ADRs.
‘America, for example, set out to address this issue way back in 1962, consequently little number of cases of ADRs are reported there. On the other hand, though India awoke to this fact in 1982, we have achieved little progress to contain ADRs. This is because it has not been able to create an effective mechanism to address the issue”, said Mr. Subburaj.
According to him, no definite and effective statistics and estimates are available as to how many cases of ADRs happen each year while in America such statistics are accurate and the system in place. India, therefore, needs to emulate such a country to address the issue of ADRs with an effective monitoring system in place.
Dr. G N Singh, Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) concurred that ADRs is the serious issue. He said the authorities concerned are in constant touch and consultation process with functionaries of WHO so that protracted deliberations are concluded in which representatives of 100 emerging economies assemble here and find out ways and means to evolve a regulatory mechanism to contain the menace of ADRs.
On the suggestion by the expert panelists that the pharmacists be allowed to prescribe medicines for ailments of general nature, the DCGI said that the government would view it with an open mind. He suggested classifying the drugs into three categories i.e. the drugs (OTC), which consumer can take directly from medical store, few limited drugs which could be prescribed / suggested by pharmacists and the specialty drugs prescribed by medical doctors. This will also improve the access of healthcare services especially in areas where there is shortage of doctors while the pharmacists are available.
Dr. K K Kalra, CEO, NABH (National Accreditation Board for Hospitals) said NABH guidelines would also now look at including the role of pharmacists for the accreditation. Among others who were present on the occasion comprised Mr. Nishant V Berlia, Chairman, Health Committee, PHD Chamber and Mr. Saurabh Sanyal, Secretary General