NEW DELHI: After the Ministry of Health banned 344 fixed drug combinations for being “irrational”, a study has found that nearly 80 per cent of Indian doctors prescribed these drugs and that up to 40 per cent of doctors disagree with the ban. The survey, which canvassed 4,892 doctors across the country, was conducted by the medicos’ network eMediNexus.
Over 75 per cent of the surveyed doctors also said that at least two of the drugs -- Codeine and Nimesulide combinations — should not have been banned, while a third felt there should be exceptions to drug bans, like in developed nations such as the US. “As a healthcare advocacy platform, we felt that it was important to conduct this survey to understand the sentiments of doctors, who are directly affected by the ban. The results were split with 60 per cent supporting the ban and 40 per cent finding it an unnecessary move,” said Amit Sharma and Nilesh Aggarwal, co-founders of eMediNexus. “Given the significant healthcare burden in our country, educating patients and doctors about the safety and efficacy of commonly used medicines is crucial so that they can take informed decisions,” they added. The ministry, through a gazette notification, banned 344 fixed drug combinations calling them “irrational”.
Fixed-dose-combination drugs are medicines made of two or more active drugs combined into a single dosage in a fixed ratio.According to ministry sources, it has been made mandatory for fixed drug combinations to get approval from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisaton since 1961, however, there’s still a huge proportion of unapproved fixed drug combinations often sold over the counter in the country.