The Urgency of Expiry Dates on Doctors’ Prescriptions

Antibiotics are dispensed strictly on prescriptions issued by doctors after a thorough diagnosis, and retailers diligently adhere to these guidelines.

Doctor Prescription
Picture: Pixabay

Last Updated on February 21, 2024 by The Health Master


In the labyrinth of healthcare practices, the Kolkata headquartered All India Chemists and Distributors Federation (AICDF) is sounding an alarm regarding the absence of expiry dates on doctors’ prescriptions.

This breakaway group from the AIOCD, representing pharmaceutical distributors and retailers across the nation, emphasizes the need for a predetermined lifespan for prescriptions to combat the burgeoning issue of antibiotic/antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

Let’s delve into the rationale behind this plea and the potential consequences of neglecting this critical aspect of medical practice.

The Peril of Timeless Prescriptions

A Persistent Problem

One glaring issue raised by the AICDF is the common practice of individuals using old prescriptions for recurring symptoms without consulting a healthcare professional.

This habit, fueled by the belief that a past prescription for similar symptoms is a quick remedy, has significant repercussions.

The organization argues that this perpetual usage contributes to the rise of AMR, as changes in disease symptoms and alterations in formulation over the years render old prescriptions ineffective.

Plea for Legal Amendments

In a proactive move, the AICDF has formally requested the West Bengal government and central drug regulatory agencies to introduce an expiry period for prescriptions.

This call for legal amendments aims to mitigate the risks associated with the overuse of antibiotics and other medications without timely reassessment by healthcare providers.

AICDF’s Stance on Media Bias

Unfair Accusations

The AICDF has taken issue with the portrayal of pharmaceutical traders, particularly retailers, in the media.

They argue that media in West Bengal unfairly places blame on pharmaceutical traders for the spread of AMR.

Joydeep Sarkar, the general secretary of the association, contends that the negative attitude towards traders is unwarranted and necessitates a supportive stance from the government.

Pharmaceutical Traders’ Defense

In response to these allegations, Pranab Kumar Chakraborthi, the secretary of the Pharmaceutical Traders’ Welfare Association of Bengal (PTAB), asserts that retailers are not accountable for the overuse of antibiotics or the proliferation of AMR.

Chakraborthi emphasizes that antibiotics are dispensed strictly on prescriptions issued by doctors after a thorough diagnosis, and retailers diligently adhere to these guidelines.

Collaborative Efforts for AMR Awareness

AICDF’s Commitment

Despite the ongoing dispute, AICDF expresses its commitment to collaborating with the government to address the menace of AMR.

Joydeep Sarkar asserts the organization’s readiness to organize educational programs and seminars to raise public awareness about antimicrobial resistance.

A harmonious partnership between the government and AICDF is deemed essential to curbing the spread of AMR effectively.

CDSCO’s Warning and AICDF’s Response

Acknowledging the recent warning by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) against the overuse of antibiotics with multiple combinations, AICDF sees it as a step in the right direction.

Joydeep Sarkar believes that such warnings will aid in partially addressing the menace of AMR.

The Complexity of AMR in Kolkata

AICDF’s In-depth Study

AICDF has conducted a comprehensive study on the factors contributing to the spread of AMR in Kolkata.

Among various identified causes, the organization points out the use of the same antibiotics in different dosages for distinct ailments, prescribed by different doctors.

This scenario, according to Joydeep Sarkar, underscores the need for a molecule-based prescription approach to minimize the risk of AMR.

Government Intervention for Environmental Protection

In addition to its primary focus on prescription expiry dates, AICDF urges the government to consider an amendment in the Drugs and Cosmetics Act (D&C Act) to incorporate provisions preventing pollution from drug waste and devices.

This broader perspective aims to address environmental concerns arising from the pharmaceutical industry.

Disclaimer: This article contains information derived from the source mentioned below. Our team utilized an AI language model to rewrite and present the news or article in a unique format.

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