Monday, March 8, 2010

Questioning over-prescriptions

The Gulf Today, 30 Dec 2009

The practice of over-prescribing medication by doctors should be questioned by patients and reported to the authorities, avers an organisation of doctors practicing across the UAE.
This is in light of the health authority in the capital having recently put into place stringent penalty measures over the issue of some doctors with vested interests prescribing unnecessary drugs that can cause serious damage to public health.
Ahead of a one-day International Continuing Medical Education (CME) programme on current concepts in medical and dental practice, the Association of Kerala Medical Graduates in the UAE (AKMG) hailed the government's move to curb the culture of overprescribing medication that puts patients' lives at risk.
Action called for
Speaking to The Gulf Today, Dr VS Hanish Babu, General Secretary of the AKMG Emirates, said the doctors who prescribe unnecessary medicines to gather incentives and other fi
nancial benefits offered by pharmaceutical companies should be severely punished.
"The doctors are allowed to practise evidence-based prescription that should not be in favour of the drug manufacturers. Hurried consultations in order to accommodate more patients for more money shows complete negligence of the fundamental principles of patient care and medical ethics. The patients' needs should be prioritised," he added.
Attendant threats
"The inaccurate prescriptions and advice to overuse antibiotics cause serious threats to the patient's immune system and sudden reactions that may even lead to fatality, not counting the financial burdens," explained Dr Babu.
According to him, a maximum of three medications can be prescribed by doctors at the time of consultation, failing which the patients have the right to question the prescription. If the doctor doesn't give a satisfactory explanation, the patient can lodge a complaint against the doctor with health authorities.
CME Programme
Dr VS Viswanthan, President of the AKMG Emirates, detailed about the CME programme on "Current Concepts in Medical and Dental Practice", staged at Holiday International Hotel in Sharjah on Dec.30.
"The one-day international conference will showcase advanced studies and research results presented by a panel of 30 specialist researchers from the United States, Canada, the UK, as well as experts from various specialities working in the UAE," he said.
"The CME programme has been reviewed and approved by the Continuing Medical Education and Professional Development Committee of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences of the UAE University in Al Ain, and has been granted eight CME credit hours," he added.
Dr Chithra Shamsudhin, a secretary of the AKMG, said, "About 700 doctors from across the UAE and doctors representing the AKMG USA and AAPI (American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin) will be attending the programme."

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