CMOs, MSs not compiling prescription audit report as doctors continue to prescribe costly medicines

DHSK takes cognizance, directs CMOs, MSs to adhere to terms of reference for PAC

Despite constitution of divisional level Prescriptions Audit Committee (PAC) last year, doctors in several hospitals of Jammu and Kashmir aren’t prescribing generic medicines to patients available at the hospital while Chief Medical Officers and Medical Superintendents are not compiling the necessary prescription audit report.

Health officials on condition of anonymity told news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), that doctors at various hospitals are not prescribing generic medicines to the patients so as to give benefit to private clinics and to give their percentage as well.

They said directions given doctors to mention, unit/department name on the prescription is also thrown to the winds so that identity of doctors not prescribing generic medicines won’t get disclosed.

Meanwhile, attendants as well as patients talking to KNO said that the nexus between doctors and private clinics is still active and in order to get benefit doctors are prescribing costly drugs and unnecessary diagnostic tests.

“Unnecessary diagnostic tests/procedures are prescribed and patients are referred to the private clinics/specialists without requirement,” they said.

They added that despite the availability of generic drugs at the hospital, doctors are prescribing costly drugs which are not available at the hospital stores so that patients can get them from private clinics and the doctor will get his share.

A health official acknowledged that drugs are prescribed in contravention to the provisions of Drugs & Cosmetic Act & Regularizations.

He said that the government has already taken a serious note of it and recommendations, highlighting actionable points will be sought from concerned authorities in this regard so that this practice can be stopped fully.

Meanwhile taking cognizance of the series of news carried by KNO, Director Health Services Kashmir has has directed all Chief Medical Officers and Medical Superintendents to adhere to the terms of reference for Prescription Audit Report (PAC) and also directed the Medical Superintendents to submit preliminary compliance report within a week’s time.

“Attention of all the Chief Medical Officers & Medical Superintendents of Kashmir Division is invited towards a circular issued by this Directorate Vide No: PS/DHSK/2022/8380-8457 Dated: 18-01-2022, (Copy enclosed), whereby it was enjoined upon to nominate one Nodal Officer for a District Hospital & for each Sub-District Hospital of their respective Districts, who shall collect Photo-copies of at least 1% (One percent) of prescriptions on random daily basis written by the government doctors in OPDs. Besides, shall also constitute a district level “Prescription Audit Committee” (PAC), comprising of doctors on administrative posts, excluding the consultants with the following terms of Reference,” reads a circular, issued by DHSK, a copy of which lies with KNO.

Terms of Reference for Prescription Audit Committee as per circular shall be that these prescriptions collected by the Nodal Officers shall be scrutinized by the Prescription Audit Committee, whether the Prescriptions are legibly written in the capital letters with name of the doctor, his/her signature & registration number, Generic drugs are prescribed & preference is given to the drugs, which are available free in hospital supplies, Unnecessary diagnostic tests/procedures are prescribed & patients are referred to the private clinics/specialists without requirement, Drugs are prescribed in contravention to the provision of Drugs & Cosmetic Act & Regulations,” it adds.

“Prescription Audit Committee(s) shall prepare & submit fortnightly report to this Directorate, Divisional level Prescription Audit committee, which stands already constituted, shall prepare a comprehensive monthly report along with their recommendations, highlighting actionable points that shall be submitted to the Administrative Department,” it reads further.

“However, it has been observed that the aforesaid circular instructions are not being complied by the Chief Medical Officers & Medical Superintendents, which has been viewed seriously. It is, therefore, again enjoined upon to adhere the instructions, The Medical Superintendent/Administrator of the concerned hospital shall be personally responsible for coordination and proper implementation of these circular instructions and shall submit a preliminary compliance report on this within a week’s time positively from the date of issuance of this circular,” the circular reads.

“If any Medical Superintendent/Administrator of the hospital found deviating from the instructions this time, disciplinary action shall be initiated against him/her without any further notice.” It adds further—(KNO)

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