Prescribe price control drugs, generics wherever possible: IMA

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Jan Ausadhi stores sell generic drugs and josh are usually cheaper than branded drugs.

Following government action against Max Hospital in Shalimar Bagh and Fortis Hospital, Gurugram, Indian Medical Association has asked doctors to preferably prescribe drugs included in the National list of Essential Medicines (NLEM) and promote Jan Ausadhi drugs. There are more than 600 drugs in NLEM which are under price control. Jan Ausadhi stores sell generic drugs and these are usually cheaper than branded drugs.

IMA President Dr K K Aggarwal also urged the government to bring disposables under price capping. “Till then all hospitals should sell the disposables at procurement price with a predefined margin. We are also launching an agitation against government norms that allow the same drug to be sold at three different prices. Government should define profit to ensure that the 700-900 percent profit margins are done away with,” he said. IMA has close to 3 lakh members who are doctors but IMA directives are only advisory in nature with no legal sanction.

There are at present no guidelines for Leave Against Medical Advice and IMA is currently developing a policy. In Fortis seven year old Aadya Singh died after she was removed from the ventilator after the family insisted on LAMA.

The directive also says that every medical prescription must include counselling on the cost of drugs and prescriptions, timely grievance redressal mechanism and hospitals should refrain from withholding life support or life saving medication on non payment. “Hospital is not a hotel that rates are different for different room rents. It has to be clearly explained to patients at the time of admission,” Dr Aggarwal said.