Thiruvananthapuram: For long the medical fraternity has been under a cloud over nefarious practices like pushing medicines of select pharma companies in return for favours received.
Some doctors even refer patients to private labs for unnecessary tests.
A prescription audit has now been ordered in response to a slew of complaints that some doctors in government hospitals in Kerala are prescribing medicines that are not in stock.
There have been several complaints that doctors push unavailable drugs, thus forcing patients to routinely buy them outside.
Doctors resorting to such unfair practices are obviously swayed by major pharmaceutical companies.
Even for the super-speciality treatment at medical colleges, some doctors are allegedly writing prescriptions of medicines of other companies instead of those that are given for free.
To curb this practice, the State Health Department is all set to carry out an audit to check the prescriptions of doctors at all government hospitals, including the medical colleges.
The prescription audit will be conducted by an expert team led by the health department director and medical education director.
At each hospital, the doctors’ prescriptions would be scrutinised within a specific time frame. Surprise inspections would also be conducted at the hospitals.
The State had last year spent Rs 660 crore for purchasing medicines for government hospitals.
Only the medicines of companies that win the tender of the Kerala Medical Services Corporation Ltd are procured for hospital stores.
A high-level meeting led by State Health Minister Veena George decided that the prescription audit would help identify the medicines that are routinely prescribed by most doctors.
And to make these available for free of cost at the hospital store.
To check the excess influence wielded by the companies, the doctors were earlier itself directed to write the generic name of the medicines.