Prescribe Generics Or Face Penalty? Govt Asks NMC To Modify This Controversial Rule

24 Aug 2023 • The Union health ministry has asked the National Medical Commission (NMC) to modify the Registered Medical Practitioner (Professional Conduct) Regulations, 2023 — issued earlier this month — which, among other changes, introduced a provision to penalise doctors for failure to prescribe generic drugs. The directive to the NMC came two days after representatives of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) and the Indian Pharmaceutical Association, met Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya.

The RMP (Professional Conduct) Regulations, 2023, state that every registered medical practitioner “should prescribe drugs using generic names written legibly and prescribe drugs rationally, avoiding unnecessary medications and irrational fixed-dose combination tablets”. Further, the regulations ask doctors to avoid prescribing “branded” generic drugs and to encourage patients to purchase drugs from generic pharmacy outlets.

The IMA vehemently opposed the regulations, especially the clause asking doctors to prescribe drugs only with generic or non-proprietary or pharmacological names, or face penalty. The maximum punishment for violations, according to the NMC regulations issued on 2 August, is suspension of licence for up to 30 days.

A ministry official said, “The NMC has been asked to make changes in the regulations on various issues, including the clause involving generic drugs, and we have asked them to allow doctors to at least prescribe branded generics.”

Source: The Print | Read full story

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