April 10, 2006, Times of India

Much of the medicines you consume, thanks to your doc’s prescription, are unnecessary drugs. They not only pinch your pocket hard, but cause some irreparable damages to your body

About 70% of drugs, which have flooded chemist shops in Kolkata, are unnecessary ones. A World Health Organization (WHO) backed study carried out by leading NGO, Consumer Unity Trust Society (CUTS), showed that patients are no less responsible for this phenomenon.

Beside doctors, patients are no less liable as its their health and their pockets are at stake. One has to pay dearly for ignorance. A patient or his family members should ask the doctor about the rational use of a drug said, Dr. Krishnangshu Roy superintendent and vice principal of R.G. Kar Medical College and Hospital.

As per the WHO definition on rational use of drugs, patients should receive doses that meet their requirements for an adequate period of time. “Patients often stop taking the full course of the medicines. Incomplete course leaves the illness dorm ant in the body and develops resistance to the medicine. Once the disease relapses, the medicine does not work.” Said Mita Dutta of CUTS.

The CUTS study revealed that 21% patients in Kolkata decide to stop medicine the moment they get relief. In case of missing dose, 33% of patients in Kolkata take the missing does immediately without consulting the doctor. Nearly 46% of the patients know a little about the side effects of drugs.

The study revealed, only 25% of the city patients know about ideal foods and drinks to be consumed with specific medicines. Forty two% patients do not know which drug should not be taken with another drug. Nearly 50% of them keep leftover medicines for future use.

Only 23% of the patients know that under some psychological conditions a few specific drugs are to be avoided. Again 25% of the patients are unaware if precautions to be taken for a specific drug.

Out of 250 prescriptions of city doctors, Dr. Roy’s team analyzed, 125 were found to be incomplete.