Pharmacies sell drugs ‘without prescriptions’

- ARJUN SHAH, Bajura

Dec 27, 2014-

Most private pharmacies in the district are found to be selling medicines without doctors’ prescriptions.

Health workers said the tendency is rife in rural areas where people have little or no idea about medicines and their short- or long-term side effects.

According to doctors, selling medicines without prescription can take a serious toll on the patient’s health. They said pharmacists are found to be administering powerful powerful antibiotics like ‘Ceftriaxone’ to every other patient. The antibiotic, useful for the treatment of a number of bacterial infections, is used by doctors as the last resort.

“Pharmacists in rural areas are found to be providing as much as three grams of Ceftriaxone in the initial phase,” said a senior assistant health worker at the District Hospital. Public Health Officer Gyanendra Dawadi, however, said the dose can prove lethal. “If Ceftriaxone doesn’t work the second time on the patient, there will be no alternative,” he said, adding that even a marginal error in dosage can prove fatal. “The tendency of patients turning to nearest pharmacies in order to save time and money and get rid of their ailment soon has encouraged pharmacists to engage in malpractices,” Dawadi said.

Likewise, Assistant Health Worker Deepak Shah of the District Hospital said pharmacists are found selling abortion pills illegally for hefty sums, a practice that can result in excessive blood loss and can sometimes even lead to death.

“We have witnessed scores of cases where women are brought to the hospital in critical condition due to the use of abortion pills without consulting a doctor,” Tilak Man Bohora of the Bayalpata Hospital in Achham said. As per the law, abortions can be conducted only by a certified doctor or a staff nurse.

Meanwhile, Nilu Shrestha of the Department of Drug Management in Nepalgunj, the office responsible for monitoring and supervising pharmacies in the region, admitted that they have not been able to carry out effective supervision.

“Pharmacies can only sell drugs as prescribed by a doctor. They do not have the authority to conduct check-ups and prescribe medicines on their own,” Shrestha said. According to the Department, there are 39 licensed pharmacies in Bajura alone.

Published: 28-12-2014 10:23

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