Indian Express, September 20, 2012

In the absence of a proper monitoring mechanism in the hospitals of West Bengal, less than two per cent of prescriptions were found to be rational in a recent survey by a consumer protection organisation. According to the study by Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS International), merely 1.96 per cent of prescriptions analysed were found to be compliant with the Rational Use of Drugs (RUD) guidelines framed by the health industry.

Some of the most irrationally prescribed drugs were antibiotics, NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs), PPI (Proton pump inhibitors), H2 Blockers, vitamins, antipsychotics and antihistaminics. RUD guideline requires that patients receive medications appropriate to their clinical needs, in doses that meet their own individual requirements, for an adequate period of time, and at the lowest cost to them and their community.

The overuse, under-use or misuse of medicines result in wastage of scarce resources and widespread health hazards. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has also described the irrational use of medicines as a major problem worldwide. WHO estimates that more than half of all medicines are prescribed, dispensed or sold inappropriately, and that half of all patients fail to take them correctly.

This news item can also be viewed at: