New Delhi: A PIL has been moved in the Delhi High Court seeking directions to the Centre and the Medical Council of India (MCI) to ensure that doctors prescribe medicines by writing their generic names legibly and preferably in capital letters.
The petition seeks strict compliance of regulation 1.5 of the Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations, 2002, which mandates every physician "prescribe drugs with generic names legibly and preferably in capital letters".
The plea by Amit Sahni, a lawyer by profession, contends that MCI in 2017 had directed all medical practitioners registered under the Indian Medical Council Act to use generic names, but unfortunately no one takes it seriously.
The petition claims that "despite issuance of various notifications and circulars issued by respondent 2 (MCI) to practicing doctors in this regard and even after launching of Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushdhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) by respondent 1 (Centre), the respondents have failed to yield any result."
It alleged that authorities have failed to take up the matter seriously and have only confined themselves to issuing circulars.
The plea has said that under PMBJP, launched in 2008, generic medicines were supposed to be made available at affordable price.
Sahni has sought directions to the government to set up generic medicine shops under PMBJP near all super speciality hospitals in the country.
"Generic medicines work in the same way and provide the same clinical benefit as its branded version, but generic medicines cost between 5 per cent to 60 per cent less than branded counterparts...
"The doctors do not prescribe generic drugs generally and not done even on specific demand, due to vested interest," the petition claimed.