KOZHIKODE: A few days back, a patient had to travel all the way from Thrissur to Vatakara to source a medicine prescribed by a physician there, after pharmacists in two districts - Thrissur and Malappuram - failed to decipher his prescription.
The inquiry by some pharmacists found that the patient was the victim of the doctor’s “code language,” which could only be decoded by a particular medical shop.
Flouting ethical directions issued by the Medical Council of India (MCI), which made it mandatory for doctors to write legibly, the use of “code language” is still rampant in the state. Activists allege that the form of writing is followed by some medical practitioners because of vested interest. Kerala State Pharmacy Council member Jayan Koroth says the practice is aimed at promoting business in a particular medical store, which offers ‘gifts’ for doctors.
“As per a mutual understanding, doctors omit some letters of the drug name or add some making it a hard read,” said Jayan, explaining the fine print behind the corrupt practice.
According to him, medical representatives and manufacturers also entice doctors to continue with the practice. “Some physicians working in government hospitals and medical colleges also indulge in such practice. The code language compels the patients, who rely on the government hospitals, to purchase medicines from private medical shops, even though they are available in hospital pharmacies or govt medical shops at moderate rates,” he said.