Medicines Scenario

  • There are more than 80,000 -100,000 drug formulations available in the Indian market.
  • Most of these formulations are irrational or unscientific or even downright harmful and dangerous to health.
  • Most combinations of drugs (like Paracetamol combined with Ibuprofen) or of antibiotics (like Norflaxacin with Tinidazole) or combinations containing topical steroids (like in clobetasol, ornidazole, ofloxacin, and terbinafine) - are considered neither rational nor necessary by standard medical and pharmacology textbooks.
  • Tonics, almost all cough syrups and most multienzyme liquids/oral tablets are some of the other formulations that need to be weeded out of the Indian market as they too are unnecessary and irrational. Most countries with robust medical regulation do not permit manufacture, sale, prescription, promotion or trade of such medicines.

Ten Reasons for Irrational Prescribing

  • The belief of a pill for every ill.
  • The more the merrier, combinations work better, and the belief in shotgun therapy.
  • I have to cover all possibilities.
  • The latest is the best (latest antimalarials, antibiotics, analgesics, etc.)
  • Costlier is better, especially with poor quality drugs in the market.
  • My professor said so …
  • The MR (medical representative) said so …
  • The patients demand it (or, I will lose my practice …)…
  • In my experience ...
  • The more I write the more I earn …

Some Frequently Abused Drugs in India, thanks to their Large-Scale Prescription

  • Vitamins
  • Digestives
  • Cough expectorants
  • Antibiotics
  • Injections of all kinds
  • Analgesics
  • Blood (as transfusion)