Saturday, November 15, 2014

Free Health Camps: Time for an audit

After witnessing many "health camps" in the past two decades, I have been advocating against such practice.

These are nothing but useless programs aimed at self promotion, business promotion, corporate advertising, catch volunteers for a clinical trial ; it suits the interests of self declared social activist organizations - to add to their scrap book. It also shows the failure of the health systems to reach the masses.

Remember that during these health camps, doctors have to discharge their duties under sub optimal conditions, patients are subjected to violation of their rights to privacy. Surgical health camps like dental/ cataract/ sterilisation are even more disastrous.

It is better to have screening camps instead, and get them to the hospital for proper care. CODS Manipal, OEU in KH, OBG in KH, SDM in Dharwad have successfully done it for years. Subsidized care through insurance based health cards is also a great way to spread health care.

However the publicity hungry, new age health administrators are more interested in the photograph with banners in the media, than actual health care to the needy.

Bilaspur sterilisation camp disaster should be ring the warning bell for the health administrators…avoid such camps in sub optimal conditions, avoid playing with the lives of people with contaminated generic medicines…

The Final Word to health administrators: If profit & publicity are your aim in life, join some tobacco/gutkha or liquor company…it gives you both.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Now it is the turn of Doctors to taste the bitter pill!

How hospitals discourage doctors: A step by step guide


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Do Not Substitute: a clear message

A prescription by a doctor is his "signature", as far as patients treatment is concerned. Of late the it has become a trend substitute medications in Private pharmacies, corporate hospital pharmacies. Medicines manufactured by spurious companies, substandard generics may not yield the intended results, thus rendering the treatment ineffective. Who suffers? The TRUST, between the patient and the doctor!

The rules are very clear: No pharmacist can substitute a Brand Generic medicine, without doctors prescription/ permission. (Reference: Rule 65 of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Rules 1945, amended till 1995)

In a healthy development, a court has punished a pharmacist for substitution the medicines prescribed by a doctor...

Thursday, February 6, 2014

End of monopoly & restrictive trade practices at Private Hospitals

1. Generic medicines/ Branded Generics are not necessarily cheaper than Branded medicines!
Generics/ Brand Generics pass on close to 800% margin to the retailer, while the price may be just cheaper by 40% (click here for info) or check table:

In some corporate hospitals price of the Brand Generic can be higher than Branded medicines as brand generic suppliers can stamp the MRP dictated by the administrators! 

Example: Injection Meropenem: Meromac -branded MRP is Rs 871, Merofit- Brand Generic: Rs 2494. The hospital supply rate for both are around Rs 750. 

2. No pharmacist can substitute a Brand Generic medicine, without doctors prescription/ permission. (Reference: Rule 65 of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Rules 1945, amended till 1995)
3. Debate required on : whether a hospital can insist on medicines to bought in its own pharmacy, where choices are limited, and drugs from non FDA listed drug companies.
4. Remember: you have placed your trust with your DOCTOR. He knows what is the best for you. It is well within your right, to expect "no substitution" and choice of medicines at a pharmacy. Restrictive trade practices have been banned in India! (through MRTP Act, 1969)

While even your cooking salt is branded, why settle for an unbranded life saving medicine?