In-service Pharmacists authorised to dispense drugs for these 8 common ailments

In-service pharmacists to dispense drugs for these 8 common ailments

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Last Updated on December 17, 2021 by The Health Master

Download the list of ailments and drugs to dispense: In line with Odisha and Himachal Pradesh, the government of Assam, with the permission of the Governor, has authorised the in-service pharmacists to treat some common ailments and dispense medicines to patients in the absence of doctors in government healthcare centres.

Although drugs are dispensed without prescriptions, the dispensers have to follow the advice of a medical board that has prepared a comprehensive list in this regard.

Before notifying this, the state government constituted a Super Specialty Medical Board (SSMB) consisting of medical experts from the Guwahati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) who prepared a list of OTC drugs to be dispensed for the suggested ailments with accurate doses for different age groups.

The medical board consists of doctors from GMCH, Guwahati:

  • Dr Sangitanjan Dutta, Professor and HoD of Medical,
  • Dr. Gayatri Bezboruah, professor and HoD of paediatrics,
  • Dr Jogesh Sharma, Professor and HoD of Pulmonary Medicine,
  • Dr Pankaj Adhikari, Professor and HoD of Dermatology
  • Dr. Deepak Kumar Sharma, Professor and HoD of Emergency Medicine.

The list of medicines to be given for specific symptoms of diseases has been forwarded to the directorate of health services (DHS) and directorate of medical education (DME).

From now on, the pharmacists can dispense the drugs to the patients, as advised by the medical experts, even if the doctors are not present at the hospitals, says Sudhir Saha, secretary of the All Assam Pharmacists Services Association (AAPSA).

This order is applicable for all the hospitals under the DHS, DME and National Health Mission.

According to Saha, who is working as senior pharmacist at the Vidhan Sabha Swasthya Seva Kendra in the Assam Legislative Assembly Campus, there are about 1,329 pharmacists working in the government hospitals under the DHS, 400 pharmacists are there in the medical college hospitals and 400 dispensers under NHM scheme.

But responsibility in managing ailments comes mostly in PHCs and CHCs. He said since he is working in the secretariat hospital where the patients are always the VIPs, doctors presence is always there, so he dispenses medicines as per the direct advice of the doctors.

The SSMB has issued a list of 12 drugs with protocols to be dispensed by the pharmacists for eight minor ailments. The principal-cum-chief superintendent of the GMCH has forwarded the list of drugs and the names of diseases to all the hospitals.

As per the order the pharmacists can give medicines for:

  • Fever,
  • Upper respiratory tract infection (URTI),
  • Lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI),
  • Skin diseases like scabies and ringworm,
  • Helminthiasis,
  • Acute pain abdomen,
  • Minor injuries without medico-legal cases,
  • Diarrhoea etc.

The medicines suggested with doses by the medical experts’ panel include tablets:

  • Paracetamol 500 mg,
  • Levocetrizine 5 mg,
  • Pantaprazol 40 mg,
  • Artemether lumefantrine,
  • Ciprofloxacin 500 mg,
  • Amoxicillin 500 mg,
  • Metronidazol 400 mg,
  • Albendazol 400 mg,
  • Domperidone 10 mg,
  • Diclofenac gel
  • Antacid syrup
  • Cough expectorant / suppressant syrup.

Dr Suvakanta Das, former principal at the Girijananda Choudhari Institute of Pharmacy in Guwahati, said when he was serving as the principal there, he initiated the process with ARPA president Sofiur Rehmankhan and submitted a proposal to the government.

Expressing satisfaction over implementing the proposal by the government, Dr. Das said he will propose the same to the government of Tripura where he is working now.

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